Scottish government offers £10M funding to bring forward tidal power

The Scottish Government has invited applications to a £10 million fund dedicated to achieving commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters.

The Saltire energy fund is looking for projects that:

  • relate to the capital costs of developing a material/technical innovation aimed at reducing the cost of tidal energy
  • demonstrate the requirement for, and added value of, Scottish Government support
  • can be deployed in Scottish waters by March 2020
  • demonstrate potential to have a positive social and economic impact on Scotland including collaboration across the Scottish supply chain.

Scottish energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “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.”

Projects have to have evidence of previous operational deployment and must not be able to get full support  from other sources. The application should, where possible, quantify the economic impact of the project to Scotland.

The fund will not support wave energy projects. The Scottish Government said it has committed more than £30 million to wave energy through Wave Energy Scotland and it intends to support that programme in its current form out to 2020 to 2021. It has promised funding of £10 million for war energy in 2019/20.

More details on the challenge fund . Applications close on 9 December.