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Money to move marine machines to mainstream

Climate Change Minister in Scotland to announce £20m for marine industry Cash to take marine power devices to the next level of development…

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Climate Change Minister in Scotland to announce £20m for marine industry

Cash to take marine power devices to the next level of development has been announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Barker on a visit to Pelamis Wave Power at Leith Docks in Edinburgh.

Generating energy from the power of waves or tides has the potential to meet 15-20% of the UK’s current electricity demand by 2050 as well as helping to reduce emissions to fight climate change.

Up to £20 million from DECC’s budget of over £200 million to fund low carbon technologies, announced at the Spending Review, will help progress the development of marine devices from the current large scale prototypes to bigger formations in the sea.

Greg Barker said:

“Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a potential £15 billion to the economy to 2050.

“Britain can be a world leader as we have decades of expertise in offshore industries and the most advanced devices are already being developed here. Our geography gives us access to rich marine resources which act as a natural laboratory to test and run devices in realistic conditions, especially in Scotland and the South West where innovative work is already being carried out.

“The money we’re announcing today will take marine power to the next stage of development in the UK and a step closer to being a real contender in the future energy market.”

The scheme is expected to open in spring next year and, subject to a value for money assessment, will support two projects to test prototypes in array formations - the final development stage in generating large scale electricity from marine power prior to commercial roll out.

Further help for marine power

To help develop and commercialise wave and tidal technology, the UK has the most comprehensive marine energy support programme in the world. This provides help from the earliest stages of university 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), the Carbon Trust and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
  • Under the banded Renewables Obligation, wave and tidal technologies currently receive an enhanced level of ROCs for each MWh of eligible generation produced. A banding review is currently underway for ROC levels in the UK.

Also today, Greg Barker will chair the second meeting of the UK Marine Energy Programme Board, which was set up to help advance the industry, at Edinburgh University.

At the meeting the Minister will meet key marine energy experts and hear from representatives from Regen South West who will present their ideas on how Marine Energy Parks can be set up. This follows from the first UK Marine Energy Programme Board meeting, held in Exeter on 31st January, where Greg Barker announced plans to create Marine Energy Parks.

Notes for editors:

  1. The Spending Review announcement of November 2010 included over £200 million to support the development of low carbon technologies over the next four financial years, from April 2011. This included up to £60 million for the development of offshore wind manufacturing infrastructure at port locations and now up to £20m for marine energy. The Department is currently developing its detailed plans for the allocation of the remainder of this funding - further announcements will be made later in the year. Further detail on innovation funding and support is available on the DECC website.
  2. Announcement on the results of the RO banding review are expected later this year.
  3. Further details of the £20 million fund for pre-commercial demonstration of wave and tidal energy devices will be released later in the year (subject to EU State Aid approval). This is alongside the funding which the UK hopes to secure from the EU New Entrant’s Reserve 300 (NER300) fund. Of the five UK renewables energy projects submitted to the NER300, three were for tidal stream arrays and one was for wave energy arrays.
Published 27 June 2011