Wave and tidal firms win £7m funding

Nine wave and tidal research and development projects have won funding worth $£7m. Some £6.6m of the money is coming from the Technology Strategy Board, a government-backed funding programme, while […]

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Nine wave and tidal research and development projects have won funding worth $£7m.

Some £6.6m of the money is coming from the Technology Strategy Board, a government-backed funding programme, while £400,000 is being out up by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The nine projects are run by Aquamarine Power, Aviation Enterprises, AWS Ocean Energy, Fred Olsen, Green-Tide Turbines, Marine Current Turbines, Offshore Wave Energy, Small Hydro Company and Tidal Generation.

All of the projects focus on the twin aims of driving down the cost of energy while improving the reliability and performance of wave and tidal stream devices. Some look to enhance the performance of existing devices while others aim to develop breakthrough concepts.

Last week Energy Minister Charles Hendry visited one of the funding winners, Marine Current Turbines in Northern Ireland. He said: “As an island, the UK is surrounded by a massive energy resource. Wave and tidal stream technologies have the potential to supply millions of homes with low carbon energy, reducing our dependency on foreign energy imports and cutting dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.

“The UK has world-class engineering and offshore expertise and skills. These nine projects will drive forward the development of these technologies. They will help produce the innovations needed to bring down costs of marine energy, and improve performance to allow marine technologies to take their rightful place as part of a secure, low carbon system in the future.”

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “By 2050 we are going to have very different energy needs than we have today and we will be getting our energy from different sources. The UK is well placed to exploit wave and tidal stream energy resources with all of the coastline that we have, and it is expected this kind of technology will be an important part of the renewable energy mix needed in the future.”