Up to £10mn is to be made available by the Scottish government to help support the commercial deployment of tidal energy projects in Scottish waters.
Announced on 10 February, the Saltire Fund aims to drive innovation and reduce the costs of electricity generated from tidal projects. Successful projects must demonstrate their potential to have a positive economic impact in Scotland and be deployed no later than March 2020. It comes after a £10mn prize for marine energy was launched in 2008 but passed its 2017 deadline without a winner.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The industry has taken momentous steps forward in recent years […] but the path to commercialisation is taking longer, and proving more difficult, than initially expected.”
Wheelhouse added that the “investment climate has been harmed” by the UK government’s decision in 2016 to remove a ring-fenced subsidy for marine energy and by uncertainties around Brexit.