The Scottish Government has announced its plans to set up a wave energy technology development body to encourage innovation in the industry.
Scottish Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “‘Wave Energy Scotland’ will bring together the best engineering and academic minds to collaborate in a research and development programme to accelerate wave technology further.”
During a Parliamentary statement on marine energy planned for this week, Ewing will provide further details on Wave Energy Scotland.
The aim of the wave energy body is to boost private investment, as well as accelerate development in the sector.
According to the Scottish Government, the growth of wave energy has been hindered due to the uncertainty facing the energy sector at large, following lengthy and delayed changes to the power market as a result of the UK Government’s electricity market reform process.
Due to this uncertainty factor, investors have been reluctant to invest in marine technologies and despite support for the sector from the Scottish Government, the lack of private capital has seriously hindered the progress of both wave and tidal energy developers.
Ewing said: “With the extraordinary ocean energy resources off Scotland’s coasts, our belief in the future success of wave energy is undiminished.
“Now is the right time to consider the future of our support for wave energy in Scotland. This is a young industry and we still have a lot of learning to do in marine renewables.
“We want to encourage further innovation in wave energy development and we recognise the need for a bold new approach to supporting this emerging technology.”
“’Wave Energy Scotland’ will bring together the best engineering and academic minds to collaborate in a research and development programme to accelerate wave technology further.”
Scottish Renewables senior policy manager Lindsay Leask said: “Capturing wave energy is a complex and demanding process and although the sector is still in its infancy, Scotland can rightly be said to hold a world lead in the development of this cutting-edge technology.
“The Scottish Government should be applauded for the creation of Wave Energy Scotland, which will provide crucial support to the home-grown Scottish companies who dominate the sector and allow collaboration on key shared engineering issues.”
The announcement by the Scottish Government comes a day after wave power technology firm Pelamis said that it was calling in administrators KPMG following its failure to gain funding for development.
For several years now, Pelamis has been testing its wave energy converters at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, but failed to secure additional funding needed for the project.