Pelamis Wave Power, described as the world's most advanced wave energy technology and company, went into administration on Friday. Blair Nimmo and Gary Fraser of KPMG have been appointed joint administrators.
The move followed the failure of the Scottish company to secure the funding it needed to continue its development work, despite it having already developed a significant platform or research and development.
Pelamis Wave Power is the inventor, designer, manufacturer and operator of the Pelamis wave energy machine that has been the basis of trails in the Orkneys to harvest energy from waves. It was founded in 1998 by Pelamis inventor Dr Richard Yemm, alongside Dr David Pizer and Dr Chris Retzler.
The company is privately owned and has raised £45m to date to fund the development of Pelamis technology from a variety of financial and industry backers, in addition to £19m revenue from sales and services as well as a degree of government funding. It had been seeking a strategic partner capable of taking its technology into serial production.
Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre said that his organisation was “saddened to hear that its oldest customer has gone into administration”.
He said: “We have known many of the Pelamis team for years and all of us at EMEC are dismayed by this announcement. As a test site we have seen the clever, heroic, innovative work they have done to bring an idea to reality over the last decade.
“As a Scottish world leader Pelamis have been one of the icons of the marine renewables industry, so we are absolutely gutted at this setback.
“It is all the more galling when we know that marine energy has the potential to be a major supplier of power to the UK. But just like anybody who has been to sea, we know how hard it is out there, and trying to build a new power source was never going to be easy.
“But, all the developers we have on our test sites have been showing year on year how drive, ingenuity, skill and bloody minded determination can overcome seemingly insurmountable problems; and overcome them safely.
He said that the fall of Pelamis was “undoubtedly a big setback” but added that “the prize is still there”. He said: “The waves will keep pounding into the Orkney coastline and the world is still using precious and irreplaceable fossil fuels at an increasing rate. We know marine energy will have its day. It just looks a bit harder tonight.”