Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur has received assurances from the First Minister that the Saltire Prize for Tidal Energy has been recast in such a way as to benefit the sector.
Mr McArthur raised concerns at First Minister’s Questions this afternoon that the previous Saltire Prize had been launched in 2008 and never came close to being ‘won’ by any developer, before being withdrawn in 2017. Orkney’s MSP sought confirmation from Nicola Sturgeon that the criteria for the revised Saltire Prize would be achievable and not simply “window dressing”.
The First Minister responded by saying that the prize had been re-cast to match developments in the tidal energy sector and in an attempt to help those developing tidal energy technologies.
Reacting to the First Minister’s comments, Mr McArthur said:
“When Alex Salmond first launched the Saltire Prize for Marine Energy back in 2008, he insisted that it would act as a catalyst for the development of the sector. Over the following nine years, despite numerous relaunches, it became increasingly clear to everyone except the former First Minister that no-one would ever win the Saltire Prize, which was finally abandoned in 2017.
“Yet marine renewables has an important part to play in our future energy mix, as well as our efforts to tackle climate change. It will continue to require the right support to help bring it to commercial deployment.
“I welcome the decision, therefore, to ‘re-cast’ the Saltire Prize with a view to ensuring it provides an effective incentive for tidal energy developers. As Orkney has been at the forefront of developing this sector over the years, I’m sure the islands will also play a key role in helping developers make this breakthrough”.
Notes to Editors: you can view the exchange here.