£18 million in funding is available to provide capital support
for projects that will accelerate the deployment of
commercial-scale wave and tidal stream energy arrays in Scottish
waters. The MRCF will initially provide capital support to
commercial-scale arrays of multiple devices and will also support
innovative enabling technologies or infrastructure that will
de-risk future arrays. The MRCF funding will be distributed before
the end of the comprehensive spending review period in March
Update as of May 2013
An application round was undertaken in 2012 to provide array
commercialisation support for devices that have already been
demonstrated at full-scale prototype stage. At the same time,
similar UK and European funding schemes have made awards to three
tidal array projects in Scotland. Whilst these tidal array projects
are moving into first array commercialisation, no wave array
project is realistically able to be delivered within the MRCF time
and spending constraints.
A targeted programme of Government support is needed for wave
technologies to allow them to get to a position to successfully
deploy first arrays. This can be best achieved by further
technology proving and demonstrating cost reduction potential, all
of which would be enhanced with support from industrial partners
and OEMs who bring a depth and breadth of skills to bear as well as
the financial strength needed by customers. With this in mind the
Carbon Trust will allocate some MRCF funds towards a Wave
First Array Support Programme. We currently expect
remaining MRCF funds to support one or more tidal arrays, as
initially envisaged, and additional enabling innovation projects
for first and later marine arrays.
Wave First Array Support Programme
The primary intention of the Wave First Array
Support programme is to support projects that will significantly
progress wave energy technology towards commercial readiness before
the end of 2015, as a means to facilitate first wave demonstration
arrays in the 2016 to 2018 time period.
In order to address the specific challenges for wave
technologies and make the sector attractive for investment and
utility customers, a targeted programme of Device Development
and Proving and a Site Development Fast Track has
been devised with four key objectives:
- Proving the reliability and performance of devices by achieving
more operating experience and continuous generation through a full
range of sea states.
- Demonstrating cost reduction potential.
- Drawing industrial partners and OEMs closer to the SME
- Support project development to ensure that suitable first array
sites are available when required.
Scope of projects that may be
For Device Development and Proving we expect to support
a small number of leading wave technology developers who are
looking to prove their technology readiness for array deployment.
We expect to work with technology developers that have
well-progressed concepts with a proven track record, who are
approaching the point of array projects and commercialisation. The
projects are expected to involve the design, construction,
deployment, commissioning and operation of large or full-scale
prototypes as well as associated site development activities.
Technology developers are expected to have demonstrable linkages to
large industrial partners or OEMs either through direct investment,
ownership or partnership with respect to the supply and development
of key components of the devices.
Site Development Fast Track is designed to ensure that
sites are available for the first arrays of wave devices. All
projects should be in Scottish waters and be targeting deployment
between 2016 and 2018.
Application forms and additional information will be available
on this web page as of 10:00 on 3rd June 2013. The
Carbon Trust is happy to discuss potential applications with
interested candidates. Please call Charlie Blair or Simon Robertson
on +44 (0)131 240 1272 or +44 (0)1355 581 849.
Array Innovation Projects
An innovation support programme for the enabling technologies
that are crucial to the success of the earliest wave and tidal
arrays is to also be progressed. Innovation projects will be
supported directly or through the Marine Farm Accelerator, a new
initiative of the Carbon Trust and the Offshore Renewable Energy
Catapult. Details of this programme, eligibility criteria and
support available will be released shortly.
Other Carbon Trust marine energy work
The Carbon Trust has been working in marine energy technology
innovation since 2003. Most recently we have supported full
scale device prototypes installed in UK waters through the Marine
Renewables Proving Fund. Our report Accelerating Marine Energy,
published in July 2011, includes analysis of the UK wave and tidal
stream resource, and identifies pathways towards continued cost
reduction in the industry.
Read more on our latest reports on marine energy.