£3m investment in wave energy projects
10th January 2017
Ten wave energy development projects have been awarded a total of £3 million by Wave Energy Scotland.
The projects, devised by individual companies and partnerships, will explore the potential of different materials and processes in the production of wave energy converters (WECs); devices that convert ocean waves into electricity.
Currently these devices are predominantly made from steel, which is strong and durable but costly and susceptible to corrosion.
Alternative materials have not yet been sufficiently investigated for their longevity in harsh marine conditions. Finding a material that works well in the sea and is cheaper to produce will increase commercial viability of converters.
The WES funded Structural Materials and Manufacturing Process (SMMP) projects will investigate the use of materials such as rubbers, plastics, concrete or combinations of these to build wave energy converters, and then test how well they survive in different sea conditions.
This latest announcement from WES brings the total investment by the organisation in wave energy development to £15 million across 51 projects in less than two years.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: "Continued innovation is vital in emerging renewable technologies such as wave energy. This funding could result in longer lasting wave converters that are better able to harness the power of the sea and more efficiently turn it into renewable energy.
"Wave energy has great potential to contribute to Scotland's energy supply and that of the UK and EU and I am aware of the strong interest in the technology in international markets beyond the EU too. If we are able to maximise the economic potential of this important energy resource, there are great opportunities to generate exports to the rest of the world where Scotland is, rightly seen as being at the forefront of the development of the sector.
“I would like to congratulate the successful applicants and look forward, alongside the team of Wave Energy Scotland to seeing the results of their ongoing work."
Tim Hurst, managing director of Wave Energy Scotland, added: “We were delighted with the huge response to our call for SMMP projects, with many new organisations submitting applications. The successful projects present a superb opportunity to bring further skills and experience that can be shared with others in the WES programmes and make further progress towards commercialising the wave energy sector."
Wave Energy Scotland was set up as a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in December 2014 and is fully funded by the Scottish Government. The organisation is seen as a fresh approach to tackling the issues which have proved challenging in the wave energy sector.
Details of the ten successful SMMP projects are available at http://www.hie.co.uk/growth-sectors/energy/wave-energy-scotland/project-calls.html
Young people in Caithness and Lochaber will be among the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres. The centres are aimed at helping young people pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital (STEMD).
Plans for a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness in Orkney are set to go ahead after the two organisations behind the venture agreed funding for the project. The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney's world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.
The latest findings of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel survey have been published (Tuesday 20 December). A total of 1,004 businesses throughout the region took part in the survey between 29 September and 3 November.
The level of income required to afford a socially acceptable standard of living and to participate in society is ten to thirty per cent more expensive in remote rural Scotland than elsewhere in the UK. The report on Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland 2016, published today (Wednesday 30 November), was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise (SE), the Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum (RIHAF) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).
The chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has said he is fully confident about the future of the organisation. Responding to reports this week, speculating about the agencies future following the Scottish Government's review of enterprise and skills bodies, Professor Lorne Crerar, said he had had absolute reassurance from Scottish Government that HIE will continue in its present form.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is seeking clarification from Depute First Minister John Swinney about reports claiming that the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to be scrapped and replaced with a centralised committee. Councillor Davidson said: "If it is correct - it is totally unacceptable that the Scottish Government is to centralise the decision-making powers of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Highlands and Islands will see more fibre broadband coverage for homes and businesses into 2017, thanks to the early success of the region's Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, announced today (31 October) that strong take up figures mean that an additional £2.3m is being re-invested back into the project.
Community and independently owned shops selling groceries in remote and rural parts of the Highlands and Islands are being asked to take part in a survey into the role they play in sustaining communities. The survey will help understand the factors affecting rural shops, and the strategies that could be adopted to remain sustainable and adapt to changing market conditions.
Grow your international online sales. If your business is already selling online, or you're thinking about starting an online sales operation, why not consider the international marketplace? With the right information, set-up and skills, your business could capitalise on the wealth of opportunities available beyond the UK.
A survey of businesses in the Highlands and Islands has reported that although companies remain optimistic about their own prospects, there has been a decline in confidence in Scotland's economic outlook since the UK's EU referendum. A total of 1,054 businesses located throughout the region took part in the survey carried out by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in July and August, exploring business confidence and investment.
[Printer Friendly Version]