Wave Energy Scotland has launched a new £3 million fund to help developers come up with new materials for wave power generators which can withstand rough seas – and thereby discover a commercially-viable method of harvesting Scotland’s huge potential wave-power resource.
The quango – set up to salvage the best know-how from the collapse of hitherto private-sector Scottish wave power industry – is offering developers up to £250,000 apiece to investigate the suitability of alternative materials for use in the wave energy sector.
Steel has been used most widely in the past, but cheaper, more resilient materials exist and WES wants project proposals for:
- Hybrid Structures (incorporating rotationally moulded polymers, fibre reinforced composites and/or steel)
• Elastomers (or polymers that generally have a low modulus and a very high elastic strain range.)
• Concretes (including high performance concrete, cement-replacement concretes, and replacements for steel reinforcement), and:
• Other alternative materials that could provide a step-change in the levelised cost of energy
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is a great opportunity for innovative materials manufacturers to become involved in this unique programme and to be part of a team developing genuinely novel ideas.
“In doing so manufacturers can be at the frontier of delivering the exciting potential wave energy has as a globally deployable technology.
“Great talent and a wide range of expertise exists beyond the wave energy sector and this call is designed to encourage the transfer of knowledge from other sectors.
“This approach gives Scotland the strongest possible opportunity to both overcome the current challenges facing the wave energy industry, as an emerging technology, and to win the economic prize that will flow from being the global centre of excellence in what should become a technology of potentially great significance and commercial value.
“Wave Energy Scotland is making progress towards its ultimate goal, which we very much share, of developing a commercially-ready wave energy converter.”
Applications must be made through Public Contracts Scotland by 8 Sept 2016.