As another Scottish wave power firm folds, Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesman Liam McArthur MSP has renewed his calls for the funding allocated to an unattainable multi-million-pound wave power prize to be made available immediately to support the industry.
Administrators for Edinburgh-based wave energy company Aquamarine Power today said the firm has failed to find a buyer and been forced to stop trading, with 14 jobs lost as a result. The company had built and run two full-scale energy converters at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
Speaking in Parliament earlier this month, Mr McArthur questioned the logic behind ministers’ refusal to distribute £10 million of funding earmarked for the Saltire Prize after it was revealed that no renewable company would meet the qualifying criteria. The prize, launched amid great fanfare in 2008, was designed to make the country a world leader in wave and tidal power development.
Pelamis, another Edinburgh-based wave power technology firm, called in administrators last November after failing to secure development funding.
Following the Aquamarine Power announcement today Mr McArthur reiterated:
"This is very sad news and my thoughts are with the staff at Aquamarine Power. I expect the Scottish Government and its agencies to make every effort to ensure staff have the support they need at this difficult time.
"One area where I think they can and should be doing more is in relation to the much-vaunted Saltire Prize, which Ministers accept no wave developer can win. It therefore makes far more sense to invest the £10m now to support pioneering firms in need of support so that we can safeguard the longer term future of the wave sector in Scotland."