Funding deal

Tidal energy firm QED Naval secures £1.5m

Jeremy Smith and Keith Murray

Tidal energy firm QED Naval has secured more than £1.5m via a crowdfund campaign backed by angel investors and Scottish Enterprise support.

A funding round via the Seedrs platform campaign drew interest from 1,152 participants. Further investment was provided by Kelvin Capital, whose members have supported the business from an early stage, with Scottish Enterprise awarding match funding via its co-investment fund.

The injection of capital will enable Edinburgh-based QED Naval to complete the deployment of its pioneering Subhub tidal platform at its Yarmouth Tidal Test Centre, showcase its yield benefits to the sector, and build towards commercial sales of the platform.

Jeremy Smith, managing director, said: “We can now move ahead with the next phase of trials. With a global tidal energy market of £76bn, and a predicted GVA of £1.4bn by 2030 supporting some 4,000 jobs, the UK – and Scotland in particular – has a unique opportunity to capitalise on its natural resources.

“Tidal power could and should compete with wind and solar in terms of cost, and offers the added advantage of being a completely predictable supply of energy.

“The growth potential of this sector is enormous, growing from approximately 10MW currently, to 1000MW by 2030. This is well within the industry’s capabilities and enables it to play its part in net zero targets.  The UK’s tides could provide 12% of the country’s current electricity demand, and reduce our reliance on imported energy.”

QED Naval in partnership with Islay Energy Trust, has applied for a seabed lease in the Sound of Islay, for up to 10MW of tidal energy. The Sound of Islay Community Tidal Project aims to install its industrial-scale Subhub platform with 10.0m diameter tidal turbines generating up to 1.35 GWhr of tidal energy from each platform and an annual energy production (AEP) of just over 10GWhr.

Keith Murray, chief commercial officer, said: “There is widespread recognition that we need to act now to develop a secure, renewable energy ‘mix’, as we face the triple threats of climate change, rising bills for consumers, and global instability.

“With the completion of the EU Interreg TIGER project, QED and Tocardo will have more tidal turbines in the water than any other company. However, it will be very challenging to maintain this lead without further investment in the UK supply chain.”

“Scotland has the opportunity to be a frontrunner in this maturing market. We urge the Scottish government to invest in the infrastructure required to develop the supply chain for tidal power now, especially as we see governments in Wales and Canada investing and taking a lead.”

To date, QED has also  secured EU funding and a place on Interreg’s €48.2 million Tidal stream Industry EnerGisER Project (TIGER), a global tidal showcase.

The company was founded by Jeremy Smith, a naval architect with 20 years’ experience in the defence research and marine industry, working on nuclear submarines, composite propulsion systems and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers project.

QED’s early stage backers include Donald Houston, serial entrepreneur and owner of Ardnamurchan Estates.

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