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Pelamis founder Richard Yemm awarded Saltire Prize Medal

Posted on: Wednesday 28th March 2012

Pelamis founder Richard Yemm awarded Saltire Prize Medal

Dr Richard Yemm, inventor of the Pelamis wave energy device and founder of Pelamis Wave Power was honoured last night for his outstanding contribution to the development of the marine renewables sector.

First Minister Alex Salmond presented Richard Yemm with the second annual Saltire Prize Medal at the Scottish Renewables annual conference dinner in Edinburgh. The annual award aims to recognise outstanding contributions by individuals and groups to the development of wave and/or tidal power generation.

First Minister and Richard Yemm

The First Minister said: “I am delighted to present Richard Yemm with the Saltire Prize Medal, an accolade which he richly deserves for his tireless commitment to the development of wave energy generation.  Since forming the initial concept of the Pelamis wave energy converter and establishing the company in 1998, Richard has driven forward the technical and commercial development of Pelamis Wave Power, which now boasts major international utilities E.ON, ScottishPower and Vattenfall among its customers.

“He has made a huge contribution to the wider wave energy and renewables sector through his active engagement across industry and government.  Richard’s drive, ambition and vision should be an inspiration to many young people who are considering careers in engineering, science and the energy industry.  I congratulate him on receiving this award.”

Accepting the Medal, Dr Yemm commented: “It is a huge honour to be presented with this prestigious award, which I am delighted to accept on behalf of all who have worked tirelessly alongside me over the years to deliver on this once in a generation opportunity for Scottish engineering and industry.  This is an individual award, but wherever you take the time to look across this exciting new sector you can see exceptional individuals working together as one team to deliver on the ‘win-win’ of clean energy and economic development opportunity that marine energy represents. 

“Our sector has a unique cohesiveness forged by experience that working together gives us – and an output much greater than the sum of the parts. Those ‘parts’ range from the inspirational team at Pelamis, across other equally committed technology developers and our own industry association in Scottish Renewables, through our utility customers and partners (who have been) willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved early. The other key 'parts' have been a parliament and administration that has been consistently prepared to stick its neck out to deliver the full suite of policy, regulatory and funding initiatives, including of course the Saltire Prize, that will underpin this Scottish success story.”

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Richard Yemm will undoubtedly be looked upon as one of the most influential people to the development of Scotland's marine industry; from the drawing board to grid connected devices and making important steps to commercial scale projects. While studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh under the former Saltire Prize medallist, Prof Stephen Salter, he got the first idea of the Pelamis wave energy converter and established Pelamis Wave Power in 1998.

“Since then he has led his team to reach a number of milestones in the development of the technology where, among many achievements, Pelamis secured the first export order for a wave energy device in Scotland. It is because of all these achievements Richard is a well deserved recipient of the Saltire Prize Medal.”

The Saltire Prize Medal is presented under the auspices of Scotland's £10 million Saltire Prize marine energy challenge. This challenge will see £10 million awarded to the team that can demonstrate, in Scottish waters, a commercially-viable wave or tidal stream energy technology that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100 GWh over a continuous two-year period using only sea power. Pelamis Wave Power are one of three Official Saltire Prize Applicants, for our Farr Point project off the north coast of Sutherland.


 

Images and audio of the event can be downloaded at www.flickr.com/photos/scottishgovernment and http://soundcloud.com/scotgov.

Full press release from the Scottish Government can be read here.