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.

£7.5m Awarded to Stage 3 PTO Projects

Wave Energy Scotland has selected 3 technologies to go forward to stage 3 of its Power Take Off  (PTO) development programme.   The projects will involve demonstration and testing of scale prototypes in a representative environment and cover a range of technology options: digital hydraulics, electrical linear generation and a ball-screw generator.  A total of £7.5m has been awarded for the projects which will be completed over the next 2 years and involve 15 organisations from across Scotland.  The award recipients are:

Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd - £2,498,400

• University of Edinburgh - £2,499,556

• Umbra Cuscinetti  SpA- £2,469,450


Further information can be found 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.

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Wave Energy Scotland IP Availability

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

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Frequently asked questions

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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?