UK Backs EMEC’s Marine Renewables Growth Plans

(Credit: EMEC)
(Credit: EMEC)

The U.K. government has set aside $3.7 million for the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), which will be awarded to the world’s first wave and tidal energy testing facility over the course of two years.

The funding is part of U.K. government’s $5.7 million support package for the country’s islands.

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

EMEC 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 center to the UK economy at over $460 million - $328 million of that was accrued in Scotland, and half of that in the Orkney Islands where EMEC is based.

Since being set up, the center has become a strategically important innovation facility 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.

With the most recent funding boost, the U.K. government will support EMEC’s growth plans, further helping EMEC to deliver the U.K.’s net zero ambitions, increase innovation and investment in research and development, and drive the levelling up agenda and green growth in island communities.

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

“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 decarbonize 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,” said Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director.

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