£18 million marine energy fund now open for bids

A multi-million pound fund to help develop Scotland’s first commercial wave and tidal power arrays was opened yesterday (Wednesday).

Addressing the AllEnergy conference in Aberdeen, First Minister Alex Salmond announced that Scotland’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) was now open for bids by marine energy developers.

In his address to the audience of industry delegates, the East Aberdeenshire MSP also announced:

- The first award from the £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure Fund (N-RIF) – a £500,000 grant to support the transformation of a strategic dock, ten miles from Glasgow city centre to create a key manufacturing location for renewable energy.

- A new Centre for CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery in Scotland, to examine and develop opportunities for Carbon Capture & Storage technologies to boost North Sea resource gains and support efforts to reduce costs related to the development of CCS projects

- An industry-led smart grid sector strategy

Mr Salmond said: “Europe’s greatest wind, wave and tidal resources are heavily concentrated in the waters around these islands and Scotland is at the forefront of developing offshore and low carbon energy generation technologies. 

“The new fund brings together the marine renewables expertise of the Carbon Trust, Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies. It will help move the wave and tidal sector from prototype devices to commercially-viable arrays, producing increasing amounts of electricity solely from the power of the seas and deliver a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Dr Stephen Wyatt, head of technology acceleration, the Carbon Trust, added: “Scotland has a world leading resource and is a hot bed of innovation and deployment making marine energy an exciting green growth sector. 

“We are delighted to be involved in developing and delivering the new Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund over the next three years.”

The First Minister also announced the initial grant award from the N-RIF – which aims to ensure ports and manufacturing infrastructure around Scotland are equipped to capitalise on the rapid development of Europe’s offshore wind and marine renewables sectors.