A Scottish Government fund launched last year is to be used to provide dedicated finance for the wave energy sector in the country, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is to announce at today’s All-Energy Conference.

Projects will be able to apply for funds from the Wave First Array Support Programme, which is part of the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), from June, with the first funding expected to be awarded in the summer.

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.

The news has been welcomed by trade association RenewableUK, with Wave and Tidal Development Manager David Krohn stating: "The Scottish Government’s announcement provides a substantial boost for the wave energy sector, in which the UK leads the world. This specifically-targeted funding will help to accelerate growth and generate further private investment in a technology which has enormous potential, as 50% of the total European wave energy resource is in UK and Irish waters.

“By kickstarting a further expansion of the wave sector, we can ensure that costs come down as quickly as possible, so that we can capitalise on our global pre-eminence. The wave energy industry is aiming to move from full-scale demonstration devices to the first arrays, so this funding will help to set us firmly on the road towards commercial viability".

The £18M MRCF was launched in May last year and is administered by the Carbon Trust.