Scotland's first marine energy park to be launched
Published: 30th Jul 2012 02:11:06
Scotland's first marine energy park is set to be launched later.
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park aims to help boost progress in marine power development.
The venture will include the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) on Orkney, where testing of a range of wave and tidal devices is already under way.
Earlier this year, the government announced the UK's first such marine energy park off the south-west of England.
The park designation is designed to link university researchers and private companies working in marine energy.
The Scottish park will be officially launched by UK Energy Minister Greg Barker at the Caithness port of Scrabster.
WWF Scotland welcomed the news that the Pentland Forth was set to be named as the UK's second marine energy park.
Policy officer Dr Sam Gardner described it as "an exciting development and a further opportunity for Scotland's marine renewable sector to develop wave and tidal devices".
He added: "We are already at the forefront of these important technologies and energy park status will help further speed up the commercial development of marine renewables.
"With careful planning we can harness Scotland's wave and tidal energy to help cut our climate emissions, while safeguarding the nation's tremendous marine environment."
Emec's 14-berth wave and tidal test and research centre has attracted a range of projects over the past few years.
Since 2009, Edinburgh-based Aquamarine Power has deployed and tested two full-scale Oyster devices, which use wave power technology to capture energy found in near-shore waves.
Finnish company Wello Oy is also testing its Penguin wave energy converter, while energy firm Vattenfall has secured a test berth at the Billia Croo wave test site in Orkney where they intend to test the latest generation Pelamis Wave Power device in 2014.
ScottishPower Renewables and E.On are also working together with the Pelamis P2 device at adjacent test berths in an effort to learn from operating and maintaining the machines as a wave farm.
Emec's tidal clients include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which signed up to a berth at the Fall of Warness tidal test site in October.
Kawasaki has been developing a tidal stream energy converter in-house since 2010 and plans to begin testing their device at Emec in 2013/14.
According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, energy from the waves or tides has the potential to generate up to 27GW of power in the UK alone by 2050, equivalent to the power generated from eight coal-fired power stations.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Scotland's first marine energy park to be launched. [Online] (Updated 30 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1443367-Scotlands-first-marine-energy-park-to-be-launched [Accessed 10th May 2013]
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