COMMON WATER – COMMON GROUND

Where Oil and Gas meets Wind, Wave and Tidal
30th – 31st May 2012

New Drumossie Hotel, Inverness

This is a two-day conference with the aim of bringing together players from across the region’s marine energy industries.

Organised by the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Energy Research Group, the aim of this event is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge between offshore sectors, including established oil and gas businesses as well as companies in the emerging renewables market. It is being increasingly recognised there is much common ground between the skills and knowledge needed to develop marine renewable installations and those which are currently used in the oil and gas sector.

Companies entering the renewables sector can learn from established offshore operators and there are huge opportunities for supply chain businesses to get involved with emerging technologies. This event, the first of its kind in the Highlands and Islands, will explore these issues for businesses interested in technological innovation or diversifying into new sectors. Delegates will get the chance to meet decision makers and learn about new developments.

The detailed programme is still being put together but the CWCG FLYER gives the gist of what will be covered over the 2 days. We’re also giving delegates/businesses the chance to showcase their work/innovations/interests for 5 minutes if they want to.

Registration and Cost: Delegate places can be booked now, with a registration fee of £95. Fee covers attendance at all sessions over the 2 days, and the conference dinner on the evening of Wednesday, 30th May.

Places can be booked on the website or by email to contact@cw-cg.org or by calling Fiona O’Fee on 0800 032 8080.

EVENT WEBSITE

EIMR International conference now fully booked

May 1-3 2012, Kirkwall.

It’s very encouraging to announce that we have now closed the delegate list for this event having exceeded our 200 delegate limit. We have have opened a ‘standby’ list for anyone still wishing to attend should another delegate need to cancel – if you would like to be added to this list please contact contact@eimr.org

A draft programme is now available HERE (please remember this is still subject to change) and information for delegates is available HERE

See all details at the EIMR conference website.

New science features and news site launched…..

A new website, ScienceOmega, aimed at showcasing high-quality scientific features and news has been launched and may be worth keeping an eye on.

It is boasting quite a list of contributors – Sir Patrick Moore, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation Dr Lars Heikensten, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Dr Hamadoun Touré, President of the United States’ Council for Chemical Research (CCR) Dr Seth Snyder, Chief Executive of the Society of Biology Dr Mark Downs.

It is aiming to cover a very wide range of disciplines. Science Omega says it “has one overarching goal; to communicate high-quality scientific content to the largest possible audience. It is paramount that Science Omega contains content that will interest the scientific community. However, science cannot afford to be elitist, and we are convinced that if we present material in a clear and engaging way, it will prove fascinating for scientists and non-scientists alike.”

Marine management report from ScotGov Marine Strategy Forum

The latest Marine management discussion points from this government forum have been released and give an insight into the priorities and direction that government policy might take in the future, for all aspects of managing our marine environment. It is an interesting summary of the various demands and interests in this environment, the bodies and committees involved in trying to protects it and some of the ways in which we are trying to exploit the resources for our benefit.

ScotGov_marine_mgmnt_communication8

LINK TO THE SCOTGOV WEBPAGES FOR THIS FORUM

Smart Grid Project to add battery array

A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced batteries and systems, is set to supply six Grid Battery Systems (GBSs) to Northern Powergrid, an electricity distribution network operator that delivers power to more than 3.8 million customers in the U.K. to enable smarter power delivery.

The GBSs are designed for peak-load shifting in order to manage fluctuations in voltage on the national grid. The systems will be deployed as part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR), a project funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, to help develop a smart grid capable of handling the transition to a low-carbon economy.

To better manage voltage regulation requirements and maintain grid stability and power quality, Northern Power Grid are adding a 2.5MW system, two 100kW systems and three 50kW systems. Each system is designed to maintain these power capabilities for up to two hours, adding flexibility to the distribution network and helping to provide consistent delivery of reliable power to customers

This follows a decision in December 2011 by an Hawaiian wind project developer to use batteries produced by A123 to firm up power delivery into the grid. The Auwahi Wind project, which has a generating capacity of 21 megawatts, will be buttressed by a giant battery bank able to deliver 11 megawatts of power. The arrays are built around shipping container-size battery banks, helping to make renewable energy farms a more reliable source of electricity.

One of the advantages of lithium ion batteries is that they are able to supply lots of power very quickly. This is why Lithium ion batteries are making inroads into the renewable energy business. A123 Systems said its power electronics can detect fluctuations in supply and be able to send 11 megwawatts of power in milliseconds.

FULL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT FROM A123 WEBSITE

MORE ON THE HAWAIIAN ARRAY

WATERS 2 funding round opens

The second round of the WATERS (Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support) fund opened this week with a further £6 million of funding available for wave and tidal technology development. The primary focus of the WATERS 2 fund is to support the construction and deployment of wave and tidal stream energy prototypes in Scottish waters, thus promoting research and development activities in Scotland, and reducing the cost to developers. WATERS 2 is a collaborative venture between Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In the previous round of WATERS Aquamarine Power received £3.15m for the development of their Oyster 800 device, currently being tested at the Billia Croo wave test site of EMEC (and as reported in a previous post to be extended to grid production site).

Companies based in Scotland and Scottish subsidiaries of overseas companies are invited to submit project proposals that will advance low-cost-of-energy wave and tidal devices. Priority will be given to applications that support viable projects enabling full-scale proving of devices that have already been tested at part-scale, but smaller demonstration projects will also be considered.

FULL FUND DETAILS AND APPLICATIONS HERE

The Future of Marine Renewables in the UK

February 2012 – the UK government Energy and Climate Change Committee issues it’s eleventh report

(extract from report)
Conclusion

102. The UK is clearly leading the world in the development of wave and tidal energy. Indeed, the sense of pride in the UK’s achievements in this sector was palpable throughout our inquiry, and rightly so. Marine renewables have the potential to contribute a significant amount of clean electricity to the UK system and could also bring substantial economic benefits. It should therefore be a key priority for the Government to ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of technology development and does not allow its lead to slip.

103. Although it is still very early days for marine renewables and it is unlikely that they will make a significant contribution to the UK’s energy mix before 2020, the potential longer-term benefits associated with developing a thriving wave and tidal industry in the UK are significant. The Government must not repeat the mistakes that allowed the UK to lose its lead in the development of wind power. An overly cautious approach to developing the sector may allow other less risk-averse countries to steal the UK’s lead.

104. The priority must now be to focus on reducing the costs of marine energy to a level that is competitive. Simplifying the plethora of different organisations that provide funding will help minimise bureaucracy for the industry and providing greater certainty about policy plans beyond 2017 will help to boost confidence. The Department has learnt from the experience with the Marine Renewable Deployment Fund and is now engaging much more closely with the industry through the Marine Energy Programme Board. This should ensure that new policies are based on a realistic assessment of what the industry can deliver.

105. While most of the focus to date has been on getting prototype devices in the water, it is important to anticipate other barriers that will need to be overcome as the sector moves closer to commercialisation. As the scale of deployment increases, issues such as grid connections, the consenting process, the need for better data on marine wildlife and public attitudes all have the potential to derail the development of marine renewables. It is reassuring that DECC is already thinking about dealing with some of these obstacles, though in the case of others such as public engagement there is clearly room for improvement. The industry in particular should not assume that marine renewables will automatically enjoy public support simply because they are “out of sight and out of mind”.

106. Wave and tidal energy is a sector that shows great promise. The opportunities for deployment of these technologies worldwide are considerable. Although it will be some time before we can reap the full benefits of a fully-fledged marine energy industry, it is vital that DECC continues to support the development of these technologies so that the UK can retain its leadership position. The resource that the Government has put in to underpinning our world lead has not been large, but the potential benefits are great. The UK needs a strong political vision to ensure that we can reap the rewards of a successful marine industry.

FULL INQUIRY REPORT VIEWABLE HERE

News from EMEC

Consent for commercial wave power array

14/02/2012 – Scotland’s first near shore commercial wave power array, which will power more than 1,000 homes, has been approved by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

Two new Aquamarine Power Oyster wave energy converters will be added to an existing device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney, to allow operators, Aquamarine Power, to test the devices as an array. Each of the machines has a capacity of 800 Kilowatts, bringing the total capacity of the array to 2.4MW.

Although the machines are demonstrators, the array will be the first near shore wave array in Scotland to be connected to the National Grid, and are expected to supply enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.

FULL ARTICLE AT SOCTGOV

MaRINET offers funding for wave and tidal testing at EMEC

16 February 2012 – The marine research organisation MaRINET opens funding call for non UK-based wave and tidal energy power companies, SMEs and research groups for use at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, UK. The MaRINET wave and tidal testing funding scheme runs until March 2015, and further calls for access will be made during that time.

Matthew Finn, research and project coordinator at EMEC, says: “The funding scheme operated by MaRINET offers technology developers an opportunity to deploy their devices at facilities where they may not otherwise be able to secure test time. EMEC is a partner in the MaRINET initiative, a marine renewable energy infrastructure network funded by the European Commission (EC).

LINK TO MARINET

TSB announce new renewables innovation centre in Glasgow

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has today announced that the UK-wide consortium bid from Carbon Trust, National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) and Ocean Energy Innovation has been selected to play a pivotal role in setting up the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. The new Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult will have it’s headquarters in Glasgow – with the operational centre in Northumberland close to the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). The location in Glasgow will be alongside a number of organisations with complementary interests in the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ). ITREZ already incorporates Strathclyde University’s £89 million Technology Innovation Centre and has secured industry partners including Scottish and Southern Energy, ScottishPower and the Weir Group.

The new Catapult will focus on technologies applicable to offshore wind, tidal and wave power. It will also build strong links with centres of excellence, such as the European Marine Energy Centre and Wave Hub.

The Catapult, expected to open for business in the summer of 2012, will bring together knowledge, expertise and state of the art facilities to help UK businesses innovate and find new ways to capture and use the power from offshore renewable energy sourcesand may also advise the UK government on its renewable energy policies.

FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

Wave Hub, Hayle fills second test berth

February 8, Cornwall

Wave Hub, off Hayle on the north coast of Cornwall have announced that the second of their 4 test berths has now been reserved (Ocean Power Technologies has already signed a commitment agreement to deploy its PowerBuoy device). Ireland’s Ocean Energy Limited is working with Wave Hub, the grid-connected offshore marine energy test site, expects to deploy a full-scale device at the site later this year having tested a quarter scale prototype of its OE Buoy in Galway Bay for three years.

Ocean Energy’s OE Buoy uses the oscillating water column principle and they are working in partnership with Dresser-Rand. As waves enter a subsea chamber they force air through a turbine on the surface, generating electricity. As the waves recede they cause a vacuum, drawing air back through the turbine. Ocean Energy’s technology means the turbine rotates continuously regardless of the direction of the airflow. This improves efficiency and means it only has one moving part, minimising maintenance costs.

Dresser-Rand and Ocean Energy Limited already have a memorandum of understanding to develop a full range of full-scale devices to produce commercial electricity. Dresser-Rand developed and patented the HydroAir™ turbine – a variable radius turbine that uses a combination of stainless steel, aluminium and reinforced composites to resist corrosion. The turbine is constructed to withstand the rigors of a marine environment, and demonstrates higher levels of efficiency when compared to existing impulse designs across a wide range of incident flows.

FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE