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Saltire Prize Open for Applications

Scotland's £10 million Saltire Prize, a challenge to the world to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy, is now open for applications.

The Prize, the largest Government innovation prize in the world, will go to a commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology that generates at least 100 Gigawatts of electricity over two years using only the power of the sea - enough to power 10,000 homes.

Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather also confirmed today that The Crown Estate, as owners of the seabed around the UK, will run a dedicated leasing round over this summer specifically aimed at Saltire Prize competitors to test their devices in Scottish waters.

As a result of feedback from potential entrants during a recent consultation on the Prize guidelines, the Saltire Prize grand challenge period will now be between 2012 and 2017 to allow sufficient time for competitors to secure leases and meet the required licensing and consenting requirements.

Publishing the competition guidelines today at the Scottish Renewables annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Mather said:

"I am delighted that the Saltire Prize, Scotland's challenge to the world to push to the boundaries of marine energy innovation, is now open for applications.

"Scotland is the place to come to harness the power of our seas and beat climate change for global benefit - and potentially collect £10 million.

"The guidelines have been finalised and are published today. We have been working with The Crown Estate and Marine Scotland to enable new opportunities for global competitors and I am pleased at the co-operation in opening a dedicated new sea-bed leasing round. This will be led by The Crown Estate and will be specifically aimed at new projects competing for the Saltire Prize.

"This is a hugely important development and we are inviting comments on proposed areas around Scotland for wave and tidal development in advance of the formal leasing process.

"The Saltire Prize has already captured imaginations around the world. Together with the new £12 million WATERS fund and the world's first commercial wave and tidal leases in the Pentland Firth announced last week, Scotland is cementing its reputation as the leading location for wave and tidal energy. I wish all Saltire Prize competitors good luck."

Rob Hastings, Director of the Marine Estate at The Crown Estate said:

"Following on the success of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters announcement, we are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to identify further areas for wave and tidal project leases in Scottish Waters. We share the Scottish Government's drive to encourage this emerging industry to maturity and we are looking forward to announcing the start of the leasing round later this year."

The Saltire Prize Grand Challenge is:

"£10 million will be awarded to the team that can demonstrate in Scottish waters, a commercially viable wave or tidal stream energy technology that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100 Gigawatt hours over a continuous two year period using only the power of the sea."

Since the Saltire Prize Grand Challenge was announced in December 2008, there have been 140 registrations of interest from 27 countries.

The Saltire Prize will:
  • Advance marine renewable technology
  • Lead to leap-frog technology for Scottish, European and world benefit
  • Be open to applications from teams across the world, encouraging European and global collaboration
  • Be demonstrated in Scottish waters
Timeline
  • March 2010 - Saltire Prize applications opens
  • June 2012 - Grand Challenge testing opens
  • June 2017 - Grand Challenge testing closes
  • July 2017 - Judging and award of Saltire Prize
Saltire Prize Leasing Round Areas

Scotland's seas can provide 25 per cent of Europe's tidal power and 10 per cent of its wave power. The Scottish Government and The Crown Estate are seeking views on the suitability of the proposed areas for the dedicated leasing round. The areas are:
  • Wave - West of Shetland, west of the Western Isles, north of Tiree, west of Colonsay
  • Tidal - West of Islay, west of Kintyre peninsula
Posted 24/03/2010

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