Designed and managed by the Carbon Trust, the Marine Renewable Proving Fund (MRPF) uses new funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The MRPF marks a new level of commitment to developing wave and tidal technologies by helping the UK’s most promising technologies to progress towards early stage deployment and accelerating the first commercial projects in UK waters.

Following a rigorous assessment process, the Carbon Trust has selected Atlantis Resources, Aquamarine Power, Hammerfest Strom UK, Marine Current Turbines, Pelamis Wave Power and Voith Hydro to receive support. Set against a shortage of funding in the sector, the new finance will bridge a funding-gap that was stifling progress, creating more certainly around the technical performance of each technology which will trigger increased confidence in the sector.

“The UK must urgently diversify, decarbonise and secure its energy sources and marine energy could over time provide up to 20% of the UK’s electricity,” said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust. “Generating electricity from the UK’s powerful wave and tidal resource not only plays a crucial role in meeting our climate change targets but also presents a significant economic opportunity for the UK. Wave alone presents a £2B economic opportunity for the UK.

“The demonstration of full scale devices at sea is central to realising the full potential of marine energy and getting the first commercial projects in the water is critical to ‘de-risk’ the technology and attract the necessary private sector investment. This is the start of major new industry that will generate jobs and wealth across the UK.”

Carbon Trust analysis shows that 25% of the world’s wave and tidal technologies are being developed in the UK. Marine energy is an emerging industry with massive growth potential and each successful technology is competing for a stake in what will be a major growth industry. All of the devices receiving MRPF funding will be deployed in UK waters, which will stimulate supply chain opportunities associated with construction and deployment of these technologies. Over 75% of the funding released through the MRPF will go to the UK supply chain.

The Carbon Trust which has been supporting the marine sector since 2003 has assessed or worked with over 60 different marine energy devices and committed over £12M of funding to date. Some of the designs receiving MRPF funding have already undergone testing at the European Marine Energy Sector which is part-funded by the Carbon Trust.

News of the funding initiative was welcomed in the industry. Ian Gillies, Director of Renewable Energy at Global engineering consultant said: “This is a great boost to the wave and tidal industry. The waters around the British Isles have long been recognised as an incredible renewable energy powerhouse with huge amounts of energy available from the tides, marine currents and offshore wind.

“These technologies have the potential to generate significant quantities of our annual electricity needs using clean natural sources of energy, and at the same time, help us meet our greenhouse gas commitments.”