Marine energy leader put in administration

Written by on 21 November 2014 in News

Board action after company fails to find additional funds

A leading marine energy company has been put into administration after failing to secure additional funding.

Pelamis has announced it has “reluctantly” moved to appoint an administrator after failing to fund further development of its wave energy technology.

The company, which is based in Edinburgh and at Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre, had been leading the push to create the next generation of renewable energy production.

Chief executive Richard Yemm, a previous winner of the Saltire Prize Medal, founded Pelamis Wave Power in 1998 and the company had recently received endorsement from independent consultants following detailed work on the commercial viability of its technology and designs.

The company said a combination of more than 350 years of experience and 15,000 hours of real grid connected test data and research and development had provided a “unique platform from which to develop and demonstrate the viability of its technology for commercial deployment at scale.”

A statement from the company said: “The directors of Pelamis regret to announce that they have been unable to secure the additional funding required for further development of the Company's market leading wave energy technology.

“As a result of this the board has reluctantly moved to appoint an administrator to assess the options for securing the future for the business and employees of Pelamis.”

Lindsay Leask, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said the while concerning for the company and its employees, the news showed the challenging conditions in which the marine energy sector operated and the inherent risks in developing new technology.

She said: "Pelamis Wave Power’s contribution to this emerging industry has helped cement Scotland’s position as a global leader, and it is important to remember that the prize from the eventual commercialisation of wave energy remains hugely significant.

"“The contribution of Pelamis’ employees to the development of this technology has been immensely important, and it is to be hoped that a viable way forward can now be found for the business.”

Gina Hanrahan, Climate and Energy Policy Officer at WWF Scotland added: "It’s a real shame to see Pelamis put into administration. Marine renewables have the potential to play an important role in our future electricity mix, helping to cut climate emissions and deliver investment and jobs around our coastline. Harnessing the power of the waves is a challenge we must rise to if we’re to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

"With over 10 per cent of Europe’s wave power potential and some of the technology’s leading innovators and companies, Scotland is well placed to deliver wave power commercially in the coming years."

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