Saltire Prize raises questions

The £10 million Saltire Prize challenge created by the Scottish government to accelerate the commercialisation of wave and tidal energy has been criticized by Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservative MSP, who stated that the money should be put to better use.

The Saltire Prize challenge has been launched in 2008 with its £10 million purse to reward wave and tidal energy breakthroughs.

As reported earlier this year, the industry insiders admitted none of the competitors is capable of winning the challenge, under which the contestants are required to operate wave or tidal technology continuously for two years, and to generate at least 100 GW/h of electricity by June 2017.

The individual, team or organization that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output will be deemed a winner.

The Saltire Prize Challenge Committee revealed that it is considering options for reshaping the prize to adjust it to the current circumstances of wave and tidal sectors, and that the prize would still be awarded.

According to HeraldScotland, Scottish news publisher, Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) has called for the money to be put to better use.

“Rather than wasting £10 million on a jackpot nobody is going to win, the Scottish Government would have been far better off focusing on an energy policy which boosted research and development in renewables and helped firms develop projects into a commercial concern. It’s time the SNP government binned this white elephant and put this money to better use,” Fraser was quoted as saying by HeraldScotland.

The four remaining companies competing for the Prize are: MeyGen Ltd, ScottishPower Renewables, West Islay Tidal and Aquamarine Power which recently went into administration.

Herald Scotland further reports that the new reshaped rules for the Saltire Prize will not be made until next year, months before the challenge closes.

Image: Aquamarine Power/Illustration

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