Funding announced for Wave Scotland
Scotland’s first wave energy technology development body will receive a total of £14.3 million over the next thirteen months, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced.
Wave Energy Scotland has awarded its first contract to a group of 12 former employees of Pelamis Wave Power.
Led by the company's former chief executive Richard Yemm, their task is to capture the knowledge of the Pelamis technology development path for the wider benefit of the wave energy sector.
Mr Ewing said: “I am very pleased to offer a significant budget of over £14 million to kick start Wave Energy Scotland. This is the biggest technology development programme the wave sector has ever seen.
“We have adopted a completely new approach to funding the sector. It is one that will foster
collaborative research and development and will encourage technology developers to work with large engineering companies, academics and each other to address shared challenges.
"As Professor Stephen Salter, the founding father of wave energy, said: 'Developers need to be in alliance with each other against the hazards of the sea rather than fighting one another for inadequate funding'."
Mr Ewing added: “I am also very glad that we were able to deliver on our aspiration to capture the know-how from device development and retain some of the best brains working in marine energy in Scotland.
"Only last month, Highland and Islands Enterprise, on behalf of Wave Energy Scotland, successfully acquired the intellectual property and a range of physical assets previously owned by Pelamis. And now Wave Energy Scotland has agreed to work with 12 former Pelamis employees to capture the impressive learning they have acquired on their technology development journey.”
Alex Paterson, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: “I am delighted to have confirmation of the budget for Wave Energy Scotland. This is an exciting time for the wave energy sector in Scotland and it offers a great opportunity to draw on the expertise which exists in industry and academia.
"The WES team don’t underestimate the challenges which lie ahead. But this is a chance not to be missed and the team is relishing being able to take a fresh approach to resolving the issues which so often hamper the early stages of the development of innovative technology."
HIE’s head of Offshore Development, Tim Hurst, has been appointed interim director of Wave Energy Scotland.
Using his experience across the energy sector, coupled with expert support from the Carbon Trust and Edinburgh University, he is leading the development of the operating model for WES.