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.



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)

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.


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.


ETP call for proposals for Doctoral Studentship programme

The Energy technology Partnership (ETP) have announced they are able to offer up to 20 studentships in 2012, specifically related to the areas of:

• Wind energy;
• Marine energy;
• Bio-energy;
• Solar energy;
• Energy conversion and storage;
• Energy materials;
• Grid and networks;
• Energy utilisation in buildings;
• Carbon Capture and Storage.

Download GUIDANCE NOTES to learn more about the programme, deadline for submission and application requirements.

More details at ETP WEBSITE.

SuperGen project launches their new information website

The SuperGen Marine Energy Research Consortium has entered it’s third phase and has launched it’s NEW WEBSITE and the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research.
Their stated aim is “To conduct world-class fundamental and applied research that assists the marine energy sector in the UK to reliably and dependably accelerate deployment rates and ensure sustained growth in generating capacity to meet the 2020 targets.”

The site is full of useful current information on the developments within marine generation research and technologies. In particular, they have a very useful REPORTS PAGE, titles include:

SuperGen Phase Two Monograph
SuperGen Phase One Monograph
OES International Vision for Ocean Energy
ORECCA European Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap
UKERC Marine Roadmap
ETI Marine Energy Technology Roadmap
Guidance for Numerical Modelling in Wave and Tidal Energy
Guidance for the Experimental Tank Testing of Wave Energy Converters
An Appraisal of a Range of Fluid Modelling Software

There is also a fully SEARCHABLE DATABASE which contains all 341
abstracts of the SuperGen Marine Phase 1 and 2 research outputs:
Searches can be made by Title/Author/Year, Phase and Workstream.

SUPERGEN marine challenge: ESPRC

The EPSRC have announced a new funding call with up to £3M available to spread over 3 projects – the Marine Challenge is an incentive to accelerate the deployment of marine energy (wave and tidal). Proposals are invited for collaborative research proposals for fundamental research that will overcome barriers to Marine energy deployment. The remit of this call will be those aspects of marine energy generation technologies, the environmental impacts of the technologies and the socioeconomic aspects of marine energy (including policy) that are holding back the deployment of marine energy and that were highlighted by the scoping workshop in March 2011. There should be a single submission with a single PI. The Institutions involved in the successful application(s) will be expected to become part of the core SUPERGEN Marine Hub.

The call closes at 4pm on the 12th July 2011. Up to £3M is available for this call and up to three proposals only will be funded. The duration of the grant(s) will be up to three years.

Anyone intending to submit a proposal to this call must register their interest by email to by the 3rd June 2011

Full details and documentation on EPSRC website