At the Orkney Ocean Energy Day, as part of the EU’s Sustainable Energy Week calendar of events, representatives from the European Commission, technology companies from across Europe, and local residents visited sites around Orkney to share understanding of how the industry has developed to this point and what is required to take it further.
Andreea Stracinescu, Head of Unit for New Energy Technologies at the European Commission said “The development and innovation which has taken place over the past decade in the Orkney Islands is very encouraging for the future of this sector. The European Commission will look forward to supporting ocean renewable energies join the mainstream energy mix and help Europe achieve its decarbonisation and energy security goals”.
Sian George, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “EMEC is a world-leading centre with 10 years’ experience. As a focal point for ocean energy technology demonstration the centre is the perfect place to showcase the pioneering devices undergoing sea trials in Orkney right now. We are delighted that our colleagues from the European Commission have had the opportunity to see this exciting work first hand and up close.”
“Ocean energy has the potential to deliver significant benefits across Europe – contributing to energy security and domestic growth and export markets from a new industrial sector. Europe is already a global leader in this sector, because of substantial public and private investment in R&D infrastructure such as EMEC in Orkney.”
A high proportion of the wave and tidal technologies deployed across Europe are at EMEC’s test sites – this is generating supply chain clusters and research collaboration, as well as having a considerable impact on the local economy.
Alstom, Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power, Scotrenewables, ScottishPower Renewables and Voith, alongside a number of Orkney’s supply chain companies, participated in the Orkney Ocean Energy Day which was attended by Andreea Strachinescu, head of new energy technologies, innovation and clean coal and Paul Verhoef, head of renewable energy sources, from the European Commission.
Oliver Wragg, EMEC’s commercial director said: “Further development of the technologies being progressed at EMEC will be integral to success of the entire industry. In order to gain maximum benefit from current learning and innovation the industry needs to undertake coordinated technology demonstration programmes like the joint industry projects that we see in the wind and oil and gas sectors”.
“In pursuit of this EMEC is delighted to have been invited to participate in the Steering Committee of TP Ocean, the Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy. This organisation will bring together technical experts from across Europe to support the EU’s agenda for innovation and research in the field of ocean energy. The Steering Committee of TP Ocean will also provide advice to the Ocean Energy Forum, and will therefore make a significant contribution to delivering a road map for fast tracking the industrialisation of this sector”.