Case study

Harnessing the power of marine energy

The challenge

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) commissioned Frazer-Nash to produce a thought leadership report on the marine energy enterprise in Scotland. This report was then used as the centre-piece at the Scottish Parliament Briefing.

Our solution

The purpose of the report was to identify potential opportunities for developing marine energy in Scotland, and to encourage key stakeholders within the industry to respond. Our approach involved combining research on the current state of the marine energy enterprise in Scotland with consultation with key players from industry and government.

The report covered:

  • an overview of the energy challenge and the political response to this at EU, UK and Scottish Government level
  • an overview of the marine energy enterprise in Scotland  public funding allocations to developing the marine energy enterprise
  • a stakeholder consultation on the barriers to commercialisation, the effectiveness of policy and public funding, and enterprise requirements of the education system
  • amalgamating the research into impartial policy-making recommendations for the Scottish Government


The final report gave three main recommendations:

  • formation of a £40m fund to ensure that a sufficient range of well-engineered wave and tidal energy technology is tested in the ocean environment. The fund must also be designed to attract Scotland’s subsea and marine engineering expertise from the oil and gas sector
  • maintain momentum through strong, courageous and consistent political leadership
  • work with Westminster to find grid infrastructure solutions that will allow marine energy in Scotland to play its part in meeting UK renewable energy targets

Frazer-Nash presented the report on behalf of the IMechE to Members of the Scottish Parliament and other key stakeholders within industry in November 2008. This attracted extensive media coverage on the adequacy of funding for marine energy and Scotland’s opposition party subsequently promised to double the size of the £10M Saltire Prize. This prize is for advances in wave and tidal energy and is one of the biggest international innovation prizes in history.

The report is freely available on the IMechE’s website at:

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