A Dutch start-up is appealing for Scottish islands to decarbonise their energy system by taking on a small-scale wave power innovation.

Weco, based in The Hague, believes its horizontal wave energy converter can be twice as efficient as traditional wave projects.

Although tidal energy has started to develop in Scotland with the Orbital O2 project being tested, wave energy is yet to fully take off in the UK.

But Weco believes island communities, including in the Caribbean and Scotland, could replace imported fossil fuels with their green proposals.

The Scottish Government believes the country can be “a world leader in the development and deployment of wave and tidal energy technologies”.

Two half-scale wave energy projects were tested at the world’s leading wave and tidal energy test centre, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

Read more: SNP's tidal power vision under threat from technology 'gaps' putting off private investors

But the founders of Weco are appealing to the Scottish Government to take their project seriously.

Luc Hogervorst created his first wave energy project while in high school at the age of 17.

He said that “most solutions have a floating body that’s moving up and down in the motion of the waves”, but stressed “you can get twice as much energy from the same wave if you move horizontally”.

Mr Hogervorst took his project to the University of Cork in Ireland for testing, but is focusing on offering his innovation to island communities.

He said: “Even a small machine of up to 2m in size can power 10 households, up to 30 people.

“So small islands with not many people, you can get a large proportion of your island power by waves.

“We don’t want to power the whole island with waves because we think it’s good to combine different technologies.

“Scotland would definitely also be an option. If they would be interested if they think they can benefit from wave energy on their islands.”

His business partner, Cas van de Voort, boasted about Weco’s “go with the flow mechanism” that allows it to survive storm conditions.

He said: “We believe one of the essential parts for wave energy and basically all offshore applications is to survive these super-rough conditions.

Read more: What Scotland can learn from Dutch North Sea innovators

“The big test is not only can we survive energy but we can survive the storms.”

Mr van de Voort warned that “there is not much time for this energy transition” because “time is running out”.

He said: “A lot of wave energy converter projects are about megawatts and gigawatts but this slows down your innovation cycle.

“Our system is not only lightweight but is small. We can build a one in two model still in our garage.

“Not only from larger states in the EU, but from smaller states and island communities, there’s a growing interest in waves.”

He pointed to wind power “developing at a similar pace” to wave energy, but acknowledged the technology had suffered setbacks including a wave prototype sinking and another having to be towed back to shore in storm conditions.

He warned that “there is limited space in the North Sea”, as he highlighted a push in the Netherlands to be “integrating wave energy at the borders of wind parks”.

Mr van de Voort added: “Not only can you generate renewable energy from the waves, but you can also protect the inside of the park because you are taking energy from this wave and it will be smaller afterwards.

“All these innovative projects will benefit from more calmer and protective terrain.

“For islands, you want to be able to do it with limited equipment.”

Read more: Orkney: Scottish wave power test by Mocean and Verlume takes to seas

He said that the next step is to “test our device for at least 18 months in the North Sea”.

Mr van de Voort said: “We aim to have a device within two or three years that’s able to generate electricity and supply electricity to the grid.”

He claimed to be “building North Sea in our back yard”, adding that “Scotland has great waves – you should use it”.

Sander des Tombe, Dutch marine energy ambassador at the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), said that the UK Government to scale back its initial ambition on marine energy has stunted the confidence of the sector.

The EU has a 1GW marine energy target by 2030 and 40GW by 2050.

He said: “That sounds a lot. It can prove a very nice addition to energy mixes.

“The UK has a ring-fenced budget for tidal. They slashed it from £20m to £10m which I really don’t get.”

He added: “If you could see what kind of attention that sparked, not just in continental Europe but also in the (United) States where a ring-fenced budget for those type of technology brings it from small single-use projects to commercial scale.

“For them to be already hesitating is a very weird response.”

Sue Barr, chair of the Marine Energy Council, warned the halving of the tidal stream budget “will deliver fewer projects and increase cost of project delivery”.