Department of Energy and Climate Change
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Marine energy prototypes backed with new £22m proving fund

Marine energy prototypes backed with new £22m proving fund

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 22 September 2009

Wave and tidal developers are invited from today to bid for £22 million in new government funding to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy in the UK.

Wave and tidal developers are invited from today 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, 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 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, where they are eligible for funding from the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Lord Hunt said:

“Clean green renewable energy is a central component of our response to climate change and ensuring future energy supplies.

“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 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 £12m of funding to date.

Earlier this month, the Carbon Trust announced it is to support two leading 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 marine energy devices.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, commented:

“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.

To generate maximum economic benefit, the Government intends to publish its Marine Action Plan early next year. This will set out the key steps which will need to be taken by both Government and Industry to make the mass deployment of marine energy technologies a reality.

Notes to Editors

1. Companies can find out more about the fund here: www.carbontrust.co.uk/mrpf

2. 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 DECC Marine Renewables Deployment Fund, sitting at a technology readiness level immediately before the MRDF. The projects would be aimed at deploying a pre-commercial device and obtaining the necessary operating data for entry into the MRDF (3 months continuous operation at full/commercial scale in real marine conditions).

3. The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up in 2001 by Government in response to the threat of climate change, to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies. It cuts carbon emissions now by providing business and the public sector with expert advice, finance and certification to help them reduce their carbon footprint and to stimulate demand for low carbon products and services. Through its work, the Carbon Trust has already helped save over 23 million tonnes of carbon, delivering costs savings of around £1.4 billion. It also cuts future carbon emissions by developing new low carbon technologies. The Carbon Trust does this through project funding and management, investment and collaboration and by identifying market barriers and practical ways to overcome them. Its work on commercialising new technologies will save over 23 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2050.

4. The government-backed Technology Strategy Board announced today that they will run a complementary future programme of activity alongside actions delivered under the Marine Energy Proving Fund. The Technology Strategy Board’s competition will be specifically designed to sit alongside, but not duplicate the Proving Fund and facilitate the development and application of innovative technologies that will support the marine sector’s key challenges and objectives including: improved performance and efficiency, cost reduction, and the development of new technologies. This is in line with collaborative activity between DECC, the Carbon Trust, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the Technology Strategy Board focusing on the development of Marine and Tidal technologies as outlined in the UK Renewable Energy Strategy. To view a press release on this please visit the News and Events pages at www.innovateuk.org

5. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Contacts:

Department of Energy and Climate Change
nds.decc@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Jonathan Farr
Phone: 0300 068 5223
jonathan.farr@decc.gsi.gov.uk

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