Intention to suspend this blog

Anyone looking at this blog will notice there has not been any activity recently. The group that was looking after energy coordination at UHI has been disbanded so the few staff left have not prioritized this blog as a means of communication, and for the foreseeable future this will not change.

It is not our intention to update this blog during 2014, but we will be leaving it in it’s current state until we can resurrect it. We will concentrate our announcements (albeit of a shorter and more general research nature) on the UHI Research Twitter feed – please visit us at:

UHI Research Twitter-logo-011-web


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 or by calling Fiona O’Fee on 0800 032 8080.


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.


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.


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).


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.


ETI request for proposals for WEC system demonstrator

Wave Energy Converter (WEC) System Demonstrator call

Deadline for notification of intention to submit a proposal: 2 December 2011. Closing date: 25 January 2012

The ETI have announced their desire to set up a demonstrator system as a precursor to commercialisation of wave energy generation.

The purpose of this WEC System Demonstrator Project is to accelerate the development and commercialisation of WEC systems through an initial Project Phase of detailed design and economic analysis, focusing specifically on the means of implementing step-change innovative technical solutions. It is intended that this will be followed by a second Phase of the Project, with the ETI investing in the development and subsequent demonstration of some or all of the identified elements. It is expected that demonstration will include system component and system level activities and will be conducted in a representative setting.

The ETI has identified the opportunity for reducing the levelised cost of energy of wave energy generation through the development of innovative WEC system solutions. The cost and performance of the entire system – including the WEC device, fixations, sub-sea infrastructure and on-shore electrical grid connection – and any element of the system that affects the LCoE of the system should be considered. It is expected that step-change innovations to the system that address these areas will be necessary to achieve the successful delivery of ETI Marine Energy Roadmap performance and cost targets.

Project outline pdf

More details on the ETI website

EMEC testing facility – modelling tidal flows

EMEC’s primary role is to provide operational testing facilities for both wave and tidal devices. The research vision is to become an indispensable partner within a network of high quality, internationally recognised research stakeholders. At a local level, EMEC aims to make best use of its test facilities by coordinating a joint approach to industry-related research needs, and is fully supported by the Scottish Government.

For most developers coming to deploy at EMEC, installation at these facilities will be the first time their device has been in the open sea and grid connected. The tidal test site at the Fall of Warness, to the west of the island of Eday, was chosen for its high velocity marine currents which reach almost 4m/sec (7.8 knots) at spring tides.

Wave and Tidal potential mapping data here

Tidal flow and wave modelling data from EMEC