A Scottish engineering firm has called on the UK and Scottish governments to create “crucial” connections to help the country’s marine energy sectors.
Glasgow-headquartered Malin Group claims it is vital that Scotland’s growing wave and tidal stream industries are “nurtured and encouraged” in the Highland and Islands to allow greater commercialisation of the technology.
The firm supports a proposal advanced by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney for an Innovation Power Purchase Agreement (IPPA) to close the gap between technical feasibility and commercial application.
In a submission to a UK Government consultation on the future of Contracts for Difference (CfD), the auction mechanism used to subsidise renewable technologies, Malin proposes separating offshore wind from others including floating wind, solar, biomass, wave and tidal stream.
The Malin submission states: “In the case of wave and tidal stream, the persistent problem has been in reaching the stage of commercial deployment.
“Before these are in a position to compete for CofD with more advanced technologies, it is essential they are nurtured and encouraged to the point of commercial deployment.”
Under an IPPA, purchasers of electricity from emerging technologies would claim back from government the difference in cost compared to normal electricity prices.
Malin Group claims this would allow commercialisation to move forward.
Ben Sharples, director at Malin Marine said: “We have been talking about wave and tidal stream for 20 years but there is still not a single commercial deployment of any scale.
“The current proposals will not resolve that challenge and eventually investment in unfulfilled hopes will run out.
“If there is to be a wave and tidal stream sector, there has to be a specific support mechanism to help reach commercialisation and also a strong link between design and manufacturing which is capable of creating a success story as well as significant employment in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”