Developers of wave and tidal energy generation systems are invited to bid for £22 million in new government funding to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy in the UK.
The Marine Renewables Proving Fund, run by the Carbon Trust, will provide finance for the demonstration of wave and tidal technologies. The funding follows demand from industry and analysis by the Carbon Trust which has shown that extra support is needed to take marine devices successfully from initial prototype development through to early-stage commercial generation, at which point they are eligible for funding from the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund.
The Marine Renewables Proving Fund will provide grant funding for the testing and demonstration of pre-commercial wave and tidal stream devices. The Proving Fund is intended as a “feeder scheme” for the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF).
Projects would be aimed at deploying a pre-commercial device and obtaining the necessary operating data for entry into the MRDF: three months continuous operation at full/commercial scale in real marine conditions. Project bids will be assessed and managed by the Carbon Trust, which has been supporting the marine sector since 2003. It has assessed or worked with over 60 different marine energy devices and committed over £12 million of funding to date.
In September the Trust announced it is to support two devices, Pelamis Wave Power and Marine Current Turbines, as part of its existing Marine Energy Accelerator initiative. This is support will focus on reducing costs associated with the installation, operations and maintenance of marine energy devices.
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, said wave and tidal power could provide up to 20 per cent of the UK’s 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 deadline for applications is noon on 6 November 2009.