Saltire Prize Challenge launched in Orkney
The worlds most lucrative renewable energy competition was launched in Orkney this week (29/08/08) by the deputy first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. Four leading marine energy firms have entered their wave and tidal devices into the Saltire Prize with prize money of £10m.
To win the prize, these devices must produce at least 100 gigawatt hours of electricity over a continuous two-year period between now and 2017. So far only four tidal- and wave-power devices being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) at Stromness have produced electricity for sustained periods.
There have been some concerns about whether the cost of entering the competition is worth the likely payout for a developer. However the real goal of this competition (for the renewables industry) is clear, the Saltire Prize is a mechanism for commercialising technology and tapping into a global market predicted to be worth up to £1tn.
These goals fit very well with the South West Marine Energy Park who are working closely with the Pentalnd Firth and Orkney Marine Energy Park to ensure that they work collaboartively towards the commercialisation of the industry.
The Saltire Prize is an excellent tool for supporting the commercialisation of the industry and it is the ambition of the SWMEP to to have a similiar competition for the South West in the future.