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Parker: Marine Energy Generation Fund Open For Applications

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Round two of the four-year government funding initiative to kick-start the deployment of marine energy generation devices in New Zealand opens today.

Energy Minister David Parker is calling for interested parties to apply for funding from the Marine Energy Deployment Fund, which is offering grants of up to $2 million a year over four years.

"New Zealand's waves and tides are a world-class resource for energy generation, so there's a huge untapped potential for us to harness that energy. We want to help get marine energy generation devices into the water to give us some practical experience of what works in the New Zealand environment."

Marine energy could contribute to government's target of 90 percent renewable electricity for New Zealand by 2025, David Parker said. Currently around 60-70 percent of our electricity is from renewables.

"Marine energy will play an increasingly important role in our electricity network. It will also contribute to a more diverse mix of renewables, which means better security of supply for our country."

The first Marine Energy Deployment Fund grant of $1.85 million was recently awarded to Crest Energy for a tidal stream generator project at the entrance to Kaipara Harbour, north of Auckland, subject to resource consents being obtained.

"We're looking forward to supporting more projects like this to take marine energy generation another step closer to commercial reality in New Zealand," David Parker says.

The Marine Energy Deployment Fund is contestable, which means individuals or organisations will have to apply for funding. Applications will be assessed by an expert panel, with funding offered to appropriate projects that best meet a number of criteria. Applicants will be expected to supplement any grants with commercial investment.

Applications for the second funding round close on 24 November 2008 and decisions will be made by 30 May 2009.

Full details of the Marine Energy Deployment Fund including the criteria, guidelines and application form are available on the EECA website.

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