This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 09, 2008

Scotland Offers $20 Million Prize for Ocean Energy Innovations

The Scottish Government announced on April 2 that it will offer a $20 million prize for innovation in marine renewable energy. The Saltire Prize is designed to "galvanise world scientists to push the frontiers of innovation in the crucial area of clean, green energy." It is open to the world, but competitors for the prize must demonstrate their innovations in Scotland. The government is in the early stages of setting the parameters for the prize, having just named two members of an expert committee that will help shape the rules for winning the prize, but the goal is to have a clear impact on climate change. The prize clearly encompasses wave and tidal energy technologies, but it's not clear if it will also include offshore wind power technologies. Full details about the prize will be announced on St. Andrew's Day, which falls on November 30. See the press release and the Saltire Prize page on the Scottish Government Web site.

According to consulting company Frost & Sullivan, Europe is leading the way in marine energy technologies, with research efforts focused in the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, and the Wave Energy Centre in Portugal. That view was supported on April 3, when the U.K.-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT) installed a commercial tidal turbine in Strangford Narrows in Northern Ireland. The 1.2-megawatt SeaGen Tidal System features twin turbines, each 52.5 feet in diameter, and will start supplying power to the local grid this summer. In addition, U.K.-based Pulse Tidal Ltd. plans to install a 100-kilowatt tidal stream generator in the Humber estuary, on the east coast of northern England, later this year. The device uses hydrofoils that move up and down in the tidal stream. The U.K. Secretary of State for Energy approved the test on April 7. See the press releases from Frost & Sullivan, MCT, Pulse Tidal (PDF 43 KB), and the U.K. government. Download Adobe Reader.