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UK wave and tidal energy prototypes get £22m

Wave and tidal developers can now bid for £22 million in government funding to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy in the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced.

The Marine Renewables Proving Fund, announced in July as part of the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy, will be designed and delivered by the Carbon Trust and will provide finance for the demonstration of wave and tidal technologies.

The funding for wave and tidal energy prototypes follows demand from industry and analysis by the Carbon Trust which has shown that extra support is needed to take wave and tidal devices successfully from initial prototype development through to early-stage commercial generation, where they are eligible for funding from the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Lord Hunt, says: “The scope for wave and tidal energy around the UK’s shores is massive and we’re working closely with developers in the UK to bring on the necessary technologies.

“The Proving Fund will help marine projects get off the drawing board and into the water, taking them a vital step closer to full scale commercial viability.”

Project bids will be assessed and managed by the Carbon. It has assessed or worked with over 60 different marine energy devices and committed over £12m of funding to date.

Earlier this month, the Carbon Trust announced it is to support two leading wave and tidal devices, Pelamis Wave Power and Marine Current Turbines, as part of its existing Marine Energy Accelerator initiative. Support will focus on reducing costs associated with the installation, operations and maintenance of wave and tidal energy devices.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, adds: “Wave and tidal power is a fantastic resource for the UK that could provide up to 20% of our current electricity demand and cut carbon dioxide by tens of millions of tonnes. There are many exciting technologies in development; however, for these to reach commercial viability we need to focus on cost reduction and make mass deployment a reality. The targeted support provided by the Marine Renewables Proving Fund is a much needed boost to the UK’s clean tech revolution and we are delighted to be playing a key role in its delivery.”

Carbon Trust analysis has shown that, with 25% of the world’s wave technologies already being developed in the UK, Britain could be the ‘natural owner’ of the global wave power market, generating revenues worth £2 billion per year by 2050 and up to 16,000 direct jobs.

The Government intends to publish its Marine Action Plan early next year.

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