UK wave and tidal power gets £7m

Over 35 businesses and universities have been offered the support to help them to develop wave and tidal energy technologies.

The investment has been allocated through a collaborative research and development funding competition designed to support the exploitation of wave and tidal stream resources.

Cost down, reliability up

The 9 research and development projects will focus on driving down the cost of energy while improving the reliability and performance of wave and tidal stream energy devices.

Some of the projects will look to enhance the performance of existing devices while others aim to develop new concepts.

The Technology Strategy Board is investing £6.6m in the 9 wave and tidal projects while the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is contributing £400,000.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, says: “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 coast line 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.

“We still need to prove which technological solutions will most successfully harness marine energy and we need to reduce the cost of the energy produced to make the technology competitive with other renewable energy solutions. So there are a range of technological challenges to address.”

The 9 projects

The 9 projects funded by the Technology Strategy Board are led by Aquamarine Power Ltd, Aviation Enterprises Ltd, AWS Ocean Energy Ltd, Fred Olsen Ltd, Green-Tide Turbines Ltd, Marine Current Turbines Ltd, Offshore Wave Energy Ltd, Small Hydro Company Ltd and Tidal Generation Ltd.

This competition is designed to complement the Carbon Trust’s Marine Renewable Proving Fund.

A second £3m Technology Strategy Board funding competition, due to open in September, focuses on supporting the deployment of pre-commercial full scale wave and tidal devices installed and operating in the sea.

The competition will focus on monitoring the performance of devices and ensuring that they are reliable and can be installed and maintained effectively. This is specifically aimed at businesses that are already working towards full scale deployment of their technology.