Government launches £20m fund to develop wave and tidal arrays
Green funding news – by GreenWise staff
5th April 2012
A £20 million Government fund to support marine energy devices progress from large-scale prototypes to larger formations in the sea, has gone live.
The Marine Energy Array Demonstrator
(MEAD) scheme is open to any UK wave
developer looking to test their device in array formation. The aim is to accelerate the final step in the development process before devices move to commercial use. Up to two projects will benefit from the funding
, which was first announced last summer
"This scheme will help move marine power to the next stage of development, the demonstration of a number of wave and tidal devices in array formation out at sea," Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said. "This will take us one vital step closer to realising our ambitions of generating electricity from the waves and tides, powering homes and businesses across the whole of the UK with clean, green electricity."
Marine energy potential
According to the Government, the UK already has the most extensive support programme for marine energy in the world and has the potential to be global leader in the sector. Estimates suggest power from waves and tides could meet 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand by 2050. British companies such as Pelamis, Aquamarine Power and Marine Current Turbines are already world leaders in developing wave energy and tidal stream devices and the Carbon Trust suggests the sector could create 68,000 jobs and capture just under a quarter of the global marine renewables
market, worth around £76 billion over the next 40 years.
"Drop in the ocean"
But RenewableUK, which represents the UK marine energy sector, has described the £20 million as "a drop in the ocean". It puts the cost of the first generation of marine energy projects at around £80 million per 10 megawatt scheme, and says at least three to four projects need to reach commercialisation to ensure the UK’s world leading position is maintained.
Under the guidelines for the MEAD scheme, eligible projects need to be up and running by the end of March and have to be able to demonstrate they can generate a minimum of seven gigawatts an hour per year and must use at least three generating devices.
Anyone looking to bid can apply to the MEAD scheme online via the DECC website. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on June 1 2012.
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