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WWF Scotland welcomes tidal energy funding boost

Up to £10 million will go towards projects supporting the industry’s development.

Vagr Atferd wave-power generator

Funding of up to £10 million to develop tidal energy technology has been welcomed by a conservation group.

The Scottish Government announced the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support commercial deployment of the industry in Scottish waters.

This is to be done through “driving innovation” and reducing in the cost of electricity generated.

WWF Scotland has welcomed the move as vital in the fight against climate change.

Dr Sam Gardner, deputy director at the group, said: “It’s great to see this vote of support in the burgeoning tidal renewable energy sector.

“Scotland has been blessed with huge renewable energy opportunities that we must fulfil if we’re to scale up our response to climate change and end our reliance of fossil fuels.”

For a share of the funding, projects must demonstrate the requirement for Scottish Government support, be deployed in Scottish waters no later than March 2020 and show potential to have a positive social and economic impact.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre
Paul Wheelhouse hopes Scotland can reap the rewards of tidal energy (Michal Wachucik/PA)

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We believe that tidal energy can not only play an important role in our own future energy system but it has substantial export potential.

“The industry has taken momentous steps forward in recent years, and we are proud to have supported that, but the path to commercialisation is taking longer, and proving more difficult, than initially expected.

“The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund therefore provides a timely and appropriate approach for the Scottish Government to support the current needs of the sector and to help ensure Scotland’s huge marine energy potential is realised, while my officials and I work with the sector on wider support for innovation and deployment of this exciting technology.”

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