Scottish Government announces tidal energy fund

The AR1500 tidal turbine developed by SIMEC Atlantis Energy.

The Scottish Government is to launch a Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, with up to £10 million to help commercial deployment of tidal projects.

Responding, Hannah Smith, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “The Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting marine energy, both wave and tidal, has helped Scotland lead the world in the development of devices and projects which harness the energy contained in our seas.

“This new fund will help tidal energy developers innovate and lower costs – crucial when many are deploying devices which can already reliably produce electricity, but which are locked out of the energy market because they must compete with technologies like offshore wind, which has secured support to deploy at scale and deliver staggering cost reductions.

“It is important that any package of support recognises both the need to fund innovation in this promising sector and the commercial realities faced by developers. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government as the Saltire Tidal Challenge Fund helps tidal energy developers innovate and grow Scotland’s marine energy industry.”

SIMEC Atlantis Energy, a diversified sustainable energy generation company, also welcomed the announcement of the Scottish Government’s new fund.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis Energy, commented:

“I applaud Mr Wheelhouse, his team and policy makers for their leadership and unwavering support for the marine energy industry in Scotland. Initiatives such as The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund send strong and important signals of long-term government support to the institutional funding community across the UK and Europe which the entire sector will benefit from.

“Atlantis, being the operator of the world’s largest tidal stream power project, MeyGen, can only deliver the substantial economic benefits to Scotland that tidal power can bring with the right, consistent policy support from Government. The industry as a whole has taken massive strides in the past few years and this timely investment boost will take the progress one step further toward full commercialisation.

“The leadership demonstrated by the Scottish Government through this fund will provide much needed momentum as the tidal industry continues to work with BEIS to provide a route to market for innovative, UK based, energy generation technologies which provide genuine industrial supply chain opportunity. The tidal industry is working with the UK government seeking to create an innovation CFD to enable key projects to progress, rapidly reducing costs and to legislate for an Innovation PPA to help demonstrate further innovative technologies.”

SIMEC Atlantis also notified the market on 11 February that it had awarded a contract to Scottish based subsea engineering specialists ETA for the manufacture and delivery of “the world’s most advanced subsea tidal turbine connection system” which will underpin the cost reduction targets which the company hope will be achieved by the MeyGen extension activities known as Project Stroma.