Scots wave power pioneers in line for £10m chunk of energy funding
A SCOTTISH energy firm is a front-runner to win a share of a multi-million-pound fund to develop wave-powered energy, the UK's climate change minister has revealed.
Greg Barker unveiled a 20 million package of funding to finance alternative forms of energy during a visit to Pelamis Wave Power in Edinburgh yesterday.
He told The Scotsman that Leith-based Pelamis was well placed to be handed a large chunk of the money and said that Scotland could become a world leader in using wave technology to generate electricity.
Pelamis hopes to be awarded as much as 10m of the fund announced yesterday, which it says could initially be used to create wave-powered electricity for at least 10,000 homes in Scotland by 2013.
The firm has already invested millions of pounds in developing alternative energy, including its "Sea Snake" energy converter that will be powered by waves when it is floated off Orkney this summer. It was shown to the minister ahead ofbeing moved north.
Now the company wants to use the UK government's multi-million package for similar schemes on a bigger scale in waters such as those near the Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and the north Sutherland coast.
Pelamis, which has contracts with energy providers such as ScottishPower and Eon, said it had yet to decide the exact details. However, the projects are likely to create hundreds of jobs in Scotland.
Applications for the 20m fund will be accepted from spring 2012, with a decision likely to be taken in Westminster later that year. The UK government hopes to generate a sizeable amount of the country's total electricity demand by 2050 through wave and tidal power, and claims that the sector could be worth up to 15 billion to the British economy.
Mr Barker said: "By 2050, 15 to 20 per cent of the UK's electricity could come from marine power, and we need to grab the opportunity to develop this form of energy.
"Scotland could be a world leader in this sector as the UK makes progress with these new forms of energy. As we look to prioritise investment in marine energy, we want to make the most of the brilliant British technology that's available.
"This includes work that's been done in Scotland by firms like Pelamis, which is a front-runner when it comes to applying for a share of the fund."
Pelamis business development director Max Carcas said: "This funding could be the key to the future development of this form of marine energy in Scotland, and we're certainly committed to pressing forward with it.
"These funds could help supply 10,000 homes with electricity through marine power by 2013. This would be just the first step or an enabler as marine power becomes a key market for energy providers."
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