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Saltire Prize Medal goes to wave power pioneer

Professor Stephen Salter MBE has won the Scottish Saltire Prize Medal for his role in the development of wave power.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Salter led the University of Edinburgh team that designed and developed Salter’s Duck wave energy converter in the 1970s. Today, he is a specialist adviser to Aquamarine Power.

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, says: “Prof Salter is a thoroughly-deserved recipient of the inaugural Saltire Prize Medal, having done so much over four decades to identify and overcome early challenges to this frontier technology. His role in driving forward continued improvements in wave energy generation is widely recognised across the industry and across the world.

“Scotland leads the world in the development of power generation from our seas and oceans and the vision, ambition and drive shown by Prof Salter has played no small part in that achievement. He can be an inspiration to all of us working together to forge a new green future for Scotland and for the benefit of the wider world.”

Salter adds: “I feel honoured and delighted at the award of this beautifully designed medal. I now understand the tradition for Oscar winners to say that the credit should go to directors, other actors, camera operators and film crew. In my case it is the number of brilliant young engineers and students who worked with me in the seventies and eighties. It was a happy time for us and, looking back, I am very proud of what we achieved. Many of our ideas are now being applied to other renewable energy sources. Our only mistake was doing it too early – but that is better than too late.”

The annual Saltire award, to be presented under the auspices of Scotland's £10 million Saltire Prize marine energy challenge, has been created to recognise outstanding contributions by individuals and groups to the development of wave or tidal power.

The main Saltire Prize will see £10m awarded to the team that can demonstrate, in Scottish waters, a commercially-viable wave or tidal stream energy technology that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100 GWh over a continuous two-year period using only sea power.

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