The seas around Scotland are some of the most powerful and inhospitable on the planet, which makes them ideal for deploying wave energy converters (WECs) – devices that use wave action to generate electricity.

But designing cost-effective WECs that can survive in such a harsh and unpredictable environment represents an enormous technical challenge.

The potential of wave energy is, however, huge. Reports estimate that up to 14 Gigawatts of recoverable energy lie off the western and northern coasts of the Highlands and Islands alone, with Scotland already leading the way with efforts to harness this vast resource globally.

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) was established as part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 2014, by request of the Scottish Government, to make sure our nation continues to chart the course for marine energy development internationally.

At WES we don’t build or test wave energy converters. Instead, our annual budget of £10 million is carefully targeted through a competitive procurement programme, which supports the most innovative solutions to the technical challenges facing the wave energy sector.


Our programme focuses on the vital components and subsystems within WECs, such as Power Take-Off mechanisms (PTOs), with the aim of producing a highly reliable device that will form the basis of cost effective wave energy generation in Scotland.

Since our formation, WES has awarded £15M to 51 projects and worked with 129 separate organisations, across five different countries.

To date we’ve explored the best PTOs, while our partner companies are now testing scaled models of their wave energy converters. We’ve just announced our awards for research into the most effective structural materials and coatings for wave energy devices, before examining the most efficient control systems later in 2017.

It’s a rigorous and methodical approach, but one we’re confident will deliver the very best components and, in turn, world leading wave energy technology that’s been developed here in Scotland.

Fourth Innovation Call April 2017

We expect to launch a call for Control Systems in April 2017 and will be attending the All Energy event at the SEC, Glasgow 10th - 11th May. Come and visit us on our stand.

The associated call brokerage event will be held on 12th May in Edinburgh – save the date!

Advisory Group Members Sought

WES is seeking to appoint 3 new members to its Advisory Group. The news release explains more to the background and role of the Advisory Group, and terms and conditions are found on the existing people page of this website.

Further details about the requirements are available here.


Who we are

WES is a new initiative, fully funded by the Scottish Government to accelerate the development of wave energy technology. The Advisory Group provides expert guidance for the annual work programme. Membership of the group includes those with experience in energy sector and also individuals with a background in investment and insurance.

Freedom of Information: Download our Publication Scheme

Visit our people page >

Wave Energy Scotland IP Availability

Wave Energy Scotland is willing to make available some of the data and intellectual property which it currently owns.

Find out more about IP >

Frequently asked questions

If your question isn't answered below, get in touch and tell us what we can help you with.

What does the Wave Energy Scotland Advisory Group do?
What makes you think Wave Energy Scotland will work?
What is the process for deciding who is successful with their application to Wave Energy Scotland?
Why should Scotland continue to support and invest in the wave sector when other, proven forms of energy are available?
How are developers in Scotland engaging with Wave Energy Scotland?
Do you have any published material about WES?