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The Saltire Ocean Energy Prize

By Evan O'Neil | October 6, 2011

As I reported a little while back, Scotland has been experimenting with ocean energy in its quest to meet 100 percent of domestic electricity demand with renewables by 2020, at which time it would start exporting surplus renewable power to its southern neighbor.

The driving force behind this initiative is the Saltire innovation prize, modeled after projects such as the X prize. A purse of £10 million will go to the "team that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100 GWh over a continuous two year period, using only the power of the sea."

So far, entrants from 30+ countries have expressed interest in competing. The challenge period will begin in June 2012 and run for five years. Testing new technologies in the rough seas off Scotland should give participants valuable experience and data developing this underutilized resource.

Of course, man has long dreamed of capturing the power of the waves, as journalist Alexis Madrigal documented in his recent book on the history and promise of green technology. Let's hope this time around the innovators bring their swim fins.

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Read More: Energy, Environment, Innovation, Science, Sustainability, Technology, United Kingdom, Europe

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