Marine energy centre on Orkney receives £3m in UK Government funding

The European Marine Energy Centre says it has hosted more ocean energy technologies than anywhere else in the world.

Marine energy centre on Orkney receives £3m in UK Government funding European Marine Energy Centre

The UK Government has announced a new £4.6m support package for the UK’s islands – £3m of which will be awarded to the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) over two years.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove made the announcement as island local authorities from across the UK gathered for the fourth UK Islands Forum in Anglesey.

EMEC says it is the world’s first and leading wave and tidal energy testing facility and that it has hosted more ocean energy technologies than anywhere else in the world.

It was set up as a not-for-profit test facility in 2003 following a recommendation by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to kick start a wave and tidal energy sector in the UK.

An economic impact assessment spanning two decades of EMEC’s operations values impact of the test centre to the UK economy at £370m; £263m of that was accrued in Scotland, and half of that, £130m, in the Orkney Islands where EMEC is based.

Since being set up the centre has become a strategically important innovation centre for the UK, having instigated research and demonstrations for the ocean energy sector, as well as the integration of renewables, production of green hydrogen and storage solutions.

Gove said: “Our islands contribute so much to the UK, and we value everything that’s distinct about them.

“These projects have been made possible by the successful collaboration through our UK Island Forum, with our fourth event taking place on the Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Môn (on Wednesday).  

“The forum gives island leaders the chance to discuss the unique issues that matter most to their communities, and I am thrilled to see our discussions paving the way for vital change in areas like transport and driving forward green growth on islands.”

Growth plans slated for EMEC include expanding test facilities to support tidal energy arrays, as well as further diversification to integrate green hydrogen, storage, offshore wind, and islanded decarbonisation projects.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s managing director said: “For the past 20 years, EMEC has driven the development of a marine energy sector in the UK to enhance the range of technologies available to decarbonise our energy mix and improve the robustness of the UK electricity system.

“We have facilitated innovation and investment in R&D through our test and demonstration sites for both ocean energy and other new innovative technologies, accelerating cost reduction, boosting domestic supply chain and manufacturing capability and readying the UK for scaling up.

“This activity has helped peripheral regions to capture the economic benefits of the energy transition, building on Orkney’s track record of being a lighthouse community for renewable energy generation.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in