Long awaited award of £22m to be announced today for six marine energy firms to help them prepare their wave and tidal energy systems for the water. From BusinessGreen, part of the Guardian Environment Network.
The Carbon Trust will today announce the long-anticipated award of its £22m Marine Renewables Proving Fund (MRPF), dishing out freshing funding to six marine energy firms to help them prepare their wave and tidal energy systems for the water.
Atlantis Resources, Aquamarine Power, Hammerfest Strom UK, Marine Current Turbines, Pelamis Wave Power and Voith Hydro were selected to receive grants under the scheme, which was launched last year and is designed to bridge the funding gap that has hampered marine energy firms’ efforts to develop prototype devices.
The government has had a £50m fund in place for a number of years to support the deployment of marine energy technologies. However, it emerged last summer that no company had successfully applied for funding through the scheme as they were struggling to raise the finance necessary to develop commercial scale devices that are ready for deployment.
The government responded last September with the launch of the Proving Fund, which specifically aims to help firms demonstrate the technical and economic viability of commercial scale devices.
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said that the new funding rounds would help to accelerate the development of large scale marine energy systems and attract future investors to a sector that could eventually provide up to a fifth of the UK’s electricity.
“Generating electricity from the UK’s powerful wave and tidal resource not only plays a crucial role in meeting our climate change targets but also presents a significant economic opportunity for the UK,” he said. “The demonstration of full scale devices at sea is central to realising the full potential of marine energy and getting the first commercial projects in the water is critical to “de-risk” the technology and attract the necessary private sector investment.”
The Carbon Trust said that all of the devices receiving funding through the scheme will be deployed in UK waters, with over 75 per cent of the grants being spent within the UK supply chain.
The funding is expected to trigger a raft of trials over the next couple of the years with each of the companies now expecting to demonstrate or commercially deploy devices in the water within the next two years.
Mike Smith, chief operating officer at Atlantis, said that the funding was ” crucial” to the development of the the company’s one megawatt AK-1000(tm) turbine, adding that it would now “continue to take significant steps during the next 12 months towards the deployment of commercial scale tidal power farms in UK waters”.
His comments were echoed by Martin Wright, managing director of Marine Current Turbines, which has demonstrated the first large scale grid connected tidal stream device in the UK and is now working on plans for a tidal energy farm in north Wales.
“This represents a strong vote of confidence in the SeaGen technology and will allow us to take it to full commercialisation,” he said.
Source: By Tom Young, BusinessGreen, guardian.co.uk
Story from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/03/wave-tidal-hydropower-renewableenergy