Scotland business

Cash to 'kick start' new wave energy body

E.On Pelamis being tested off Orkney in 2012 Image copyright Pelamis
Image caption Wave energy device developer Pelamis went into administration last November

The Scottish government has awarded £14.3m to Wave Energy Scotland to "kick start" the new marine energy body.

It was set up in November last year to speed up development and encourage private investment in the industry.

The move followed the collapse of wave power technology firm Pelamis which called in administrators after failing to secure development funding.

Scottish Renewables welcomed the announcement, which it said comes at a "challenging time" for the sector.

The first contract will be awarded to a group of 12 former Pelamis employees, led by the company's former chief executive.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said he was glad they were able to "retain some of the best brains working in marine energy in Scotland".

He said: "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 yesterday, Wave Energy Scotland agreed to work with 12 former Pelamis employees to capture the impressive learning they have acquired on their technology development journey."

'Key challenges'

Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager of offshore, wind and marine at Scottish Renewables, said: "Today's announcement on the funding to be allocated to Wave Energy Scotland comes as a welcome sign of the Scottish government's continued commitment to the sector, particularly after a recent challenging period.

"This money will enable Wave Energy Scotland to continue the development of wave energy in Scotland and build upon the global lead we enjoy by funding work on some of the key challenges commonly encountered by technology developers.

"The industry has recognised for some time that a collaborative approach to solving these problems is vital to ensure wave energy devices can develop to commercial scale, and Wave Energy Scotland provides a space for that to happen."

The cash will be rolled out over the next 13 months.

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesman Liam McArthur said the funding was a step in the right direction, but that there must be "sustained" support for the industry.

He said: "Wave energy offers the chance to create jobs and wealth in communities across Scotland, as well as real opportunities for exporting services and expertise overseas. Hopefully today's announcement provides a basis now to crack on and deliver that ambition."

In December, workers told BBC Scotland the Scottish government had "pulled the rug" from under the country's leading wave energy companies by withdrawing public funding.

The criticism came after Pelamis called in administrators and its main rival, Aquamarine Power, said it was making more than half of its workforce redundant. The Scottish government insisted it had supported the sector.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites