A burglary at an innovative Scottish wave-power company went forgotten, until a very similar project appeared in China. It was an unusual burglary, in which four or five laptops were stolen from a Scottish renewable energy manufacturer in the dead of a March night in 2011. So innovative was the company that it had been been visited by a 60-strong delegation led by China’s then vice-premier only two months before. Nothing else was taken from the company and the crime, while irritating, went unsolved and forgotten – until a few years later pictures began emerging that showed a remarkably similar project manufactured in the world’s most populous country. Then some people who were involved in the Scottish company, Pelamis Wave Power, started making a connection between the break-in and the politician’s visit, which was rounded off with dinner and whisky tasting at Edinburgh Castle hosted by the then Scottish secretary, Michael Moore. Max Carcas, who was business development director at Pelamis until 2012, said the similarities between the Scottish and Chinese products were striking. Speaking publicly for the first time, he said: “Some of the details may be different but they are clearly testing a Pelamis concept.” It might be that China’s engineers had been working along roughly the same lines as the UK engineers. Or it may be that China attempted to replicate the design based on pictures of the Pelamis project freely available on the web. Or there could be a darker explanation: that Pelamis was targeted by China, which has been repeatedly accused of pursuing an aggressive industrial espionage strategy. The answer matters, given security concerns raised by the government’s award of the Hinkley Point nuclear contract to China.
Guardian 10th October 2016 read more »
The Scot-Govt. has had to write-off more than £40 million in taxpayer funding in two prominent corporate casualties in the home-grown wave energy sector. Through its Scottish Enterprise and Highland Enterprise job-creation quangos, the government sunk £17.2 million into Edinburgh-based Aquamarine Ltd, alongside another £9.4 million in direct funding from the UK and Scots governments. Scottish Enterprise also lost another £16.3 million after another Pelamis – another Edinburgh-based ocean energy developer – sank into administration in 2014. Shortly afterwards, the Scottish Government set up a new directly funded wave energy quango with an additional tax-payer financed budget of some £13 million a year.
Scottish Energy News 11th Oct 2016 read more »