The Scottish Government has relaunched the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to help commercial deployment of tidal projects.
The £10-million fund will target support to achieving commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters through driving innovation and reduction in the cost of electricity generated.
The Saltire Prize challenge was initially launched in 2008 to reward wave and tidal energy breakthroughs.
This concentrated support for tidal energy sits alongside the parallel £30 million committed to date by the Scottish Government to Wave Energy Scotland (WES), and a further £10 million proposed for WES in 2019/20.
Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“Scotland continues to lead the world in developing and supporting marine energy technology, with the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney recognised as a global centre of excellence. We believe that tidal energy can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential.
“The industry has taken momentous steps forward in recent years, and we are proud to have supported that, but the path to commercialisation is taking longer, and proving more difficult, than initially expected. The investment climate has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to remove a ring-fenced subsidy for marine energy and by the parallel uncertainties caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
“The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund therefore provides a timely and appropriate approach for the Scottish Government to support the current needs of the sector and to help ensure Scotland’s huge marine energy potential is realised, while my officials and I work with the sector on wider support for innovation and deployment of this exciting technology.”
Full details of the application process and assessment criteria will be made available via the Scottish Government Marine Energy website.
Applications to the fund will close on 6 December 2019, with successful projects planed for deployment in Scottish waters no later than March 2020.