Image courtesy of Mathieu B. via flickr
Move over, Richard Branson: Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, has just announced the Saltire Prize, a £10m (or $20m) award aimed at jump-starting research in marine renewable energy. Entries will need to be commercially viable and demonstrated in Scotland, whose seas are thought to have the capacity to produce 25% of Europe's tidal energy - and 10% of its wave energy.It's all part of the Scots' ambitious plan to generate half of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 to meet Kyoto standards; they are currently gunning for 31% by 2011 - a very achievable target if they are able to effectively harness the seas' plentiful energy. Speaking at the National Geographic Society's headquarters in Washington, Salmond said: "This global initiative is hugely exciting. It puts Scotland at the very heart of the battle against climate change and builds on our nation's substantial reputation for innovation in the areas of science that matter."
Sure, it'll probably take a lot more money to get even an adequate wave/tidal energy infrastructure going but, as a first step, it's certainly nothing to sneeze at. We've already seen our fair share of novel turbine technologiesin the past; with big utilities like PG&E; now taking the plunge, it may not be too long before we make some real progress on this front.
Via ::BBC News: £10m marine energy prize unveiled (news website)