A £50M (US$91.6M) fund to support research and development into wave and tidal stream power for the UK was announced today by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt.

‘The UK’s wave and tidal flows are the greatest in Europe and I want to ensure we harness these immense natural resources to generate power,’ said Hewitt, announcing the Marine Research Development Fund. ‘Renewable energy – through wind, wave and other sources – plays a vital part in our fight against climate change, and we are committed to further developing renewable energy to play an increasing role in the UK’s energy mix.’

The announcement coincides with a study from the Scottish Executive’s Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland’s subgroup on Marine Energy, which is also published today.

The Marine Energy Group’s report sets out an action plan to:

• Accelerate the commercial deployment of marine energy devices in Scotland.

• Maximise the contribution from marine energy to Scotland’s energy mix by 2020.

• Develop a sustainable manufacturing base for marine energy technologies in Scotland.

Work on the precise mechanism for development of wave and tidal stream is underway with the Scottish Executive, Carbon Trust and other key stakeholders.

Lewis Macdonald, Scottish Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning said: ‘I am delighted that the DTI has responded so positively to the need to support our emerging marine energy sector and we look forward to continuing to work with them to develop this support mechanism.”

The new Marine Research Development Fund is another step towards promoting renewable energy and complements support already given for other emerging technologies including wind, solar and biomass.

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