The UK’s Carbon Trust has awarded a total of £22m ($35m) in funds to six marine energy firms to help it create full-scale prototypes of wave and tidal energy systems.

Atlantis Resources, Aquamarine Power, Hammerfest Strom UK, Marine Current Turbines, Pelamis Wave Power and Voith Hydro will use the Marine Renewable Proving Fund to develop the Pelamis’ second generation P2 machine, Atlantis’ 1MW AK-1000 turbine and Hammerfest’s HS1000 device that will be operational by 2011.

The fund aims to bridge the funding gap faced by firms and aid them in de-risking their technology to help attract private investment.

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said that marine energy could provide up to 20% of the UK’s electricity in future.

“Generating electricity from the UK’s powerful wave and tidal resource not only plays a crucial role in meeting our climate change targets but also presents a significant economic opportunity for the UK,” Delay said.

Wave energy is expected to create a £2bn ($3.1bn) economic opportunity for the UK.