5 April 2012
Government has today launched its eagerly awaited £20 million Marine Energy Array Demonstrator scheme (MEAD). This scheme will support up to 2 pre-commercial projects to demonstrate the operation of wave and/or tidal devices in array formation over a period of time. Organisations across the UK will be able to bid for a share of the £20million announced last summer helping spur on growth in this exciting new sector.
Marine power has huge potential and the UK is already leading the way for the rest of the world to follow. Generating energy from the power of waves or tides could provide up to 20% of current UK electricity demand and also help cut carbon emissions and support thousands of UK jobs.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “This scheme will help move marine power to the next stage of development, the demonstration of a number of wave and tidal devices in array formation out at sea. This will take us one vital step closer to realising our ambitions of generating electricity from the waves and tides, powering homes and businesses across the whole of the UK with clean, green electricity.”
The up to £20million MEAD scheme is part of a co-ordinated programme of innovation support for marine technology being delivered by the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group (LCICG).
Winning bids will be announced by Government towards the end of the year.
Notes for editors
- Organisations can apply to the MEAD scheme online via the DECC website. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 1 June 2012. DECC will host an event on 2 May for anyone interested in applying and would encourage anyone planning to submit a bid to attend to learn more about the requirements of the scheme.
- Any grant awards under the MEAD will be subject to State Aid approval by the European Commission.
- Bids will be judged by an assessment panel on a range of criteria including the ability to generate a minimum of 7GWh per year and the use of at least three generating devices, previously demonstrated at full scale in sea conditions. Projects must be up and running by the end of March 2016.
- Further details on how to apply for support from the MEAD scheme and the MEAD application support event on 2 May can be found at: www.decc.gov.uk/mead
- To help develop and commercialise wave and tidal stream technology the UK has the most comprehensive marine energy support programme in the world. This provides help from the earliest stages of research through to demonstration and roll out under the renewables obligation.
• The Government provides support across the sector with early stage research and development funding for marine energy provided through the Research Councils’ SuperGen marine programme. Later stage technology development and demonstration funding is provided through various bodies, such as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
• Increased support for wave and tidal was looked at in the renewables obligation consultation. A way forward will be published soon.
- The Spending Review of November 2010 announced DECC Capital funding of over £200m for low carbon technologies over four financial years, from April 2011. This includes up to £60m for the development of offshore wind manufacturing at port sites. The remaining capital funding will support innovation in low carbon technologies and systems.
- From the low carbon technologies budget DECC announced the allocation of up to £20million to support the pre-commercial demonstration of marine array devices in June 2011. Further detail on innovation funding and support is available on the DECC website’s Innovation funding and support web pages.
- The Government’s LCICG brings together the major public-sector backed funders of low carbon innovation in the UK to work together to coordinate their activities and to maximise the impact of government investment in innovation. Its core members include DECC, BIS, Carbon Trust, Energy Technologies Institute, Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have recently joined the core group and several other organisations, including the other Devolved Administrations, are represented as associate members.