UK Energy Minister visits the European Marine Energy Centre

The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney has been visited by the UK Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and David Duguid MP, UK Government Minister for Scotland, to discuss the developments occurring in ocean energy.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) visitors were greeted by Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director, as well as Richard Graham MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Marine Energy, and various UK Marine Energy Council (MEC) members, before heading out to sea to see EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site.

The discussions focused on the marine energy sector and Britain’s potential to establish a world-leading industry that will provide support to green recovery and the UK Government’s overarching net-zero 2050 target.

Tidal Turbines

While on the tour, the visitors were able to see the tidal turbines by Orbital Marine Power and Magallanes Renovables in action. The Scottish-built Orbital O2 turbine was created with 80% UK supply chain content, emphasising the national opportunities for industry development and positive economic impact. The Spanish-founded ATIR tidal turbine by Magallanes further highlights the inward investment and export opportunities for Scotland and the UK.

Marine energy opportunities

The MPs then met with EMEC and Orkney Islands Council to talk about marine energy opportunities for Orkney and the archipelago’s wider energy landscape. As well as this, they visited EMEC’s hydrogen fuel cell and storage trailers at Kirkwall Pier and discussed how the development of the green hydrogen economy in Orkney with members of the operations team.

Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “The British coastline offers enormous potential for marine power to form part of our transition to a low carbon economy.

“It was a privilege to visit the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney today, to see first-hand the incredible work taking place to develop wave and tidal energy technology, and kick start an entire new renewables industry in the UK.

“Being an island nation means we are in the best position possible to reap the benefits of our natural, renewable resources to produce clean energy, helping us build back greener from the pandemic and reach our ambitious climate goals.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid, added: “It was great to see EMEC’s tidal test site first-hand and get a feel for the fantastic work taking place in the marine energy sector.

“As we prepare to host COP26 in Glasgow in November, the eyes of the world will be on the UK to show leadership and innovation as we work towards our net-zero ambitions. Orkney’s marine energy sector has real potential to help create a world-leading clean energy industry, supporting the transition to a greener future while providing a boost to the local economy and community.”

Neil Kermode, Managing Director, EMEC commented: “A visit to Orkney offers a glimpse into our energy future. Orkney is a pathfinder to net zero – a living laboratory with a track record in innovation and a world-leading centre for marine energy. The flexibility, predictability and resilience offered by wave and tidal energy technologies, combined with positive economic impacts for coastal communities, make marine energy an important part of the UK’s renewable energy mix. It was fantastic to host Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and David Duguid MP and showcase the ongoing activities and future potential of both the industry and the archipelago.

“More marine energy devices have been tested at EMEC than at any other single site in the world, which has prompted considerable investment and job creation in Orkney, Scotland and throughout the UK. With the right support to help these first-of-a-kind technologies reach commercial scale, we could see that impact replicated around UK waters and be exporting to global markets.”

Sue Barr, Chair of, Marine Energy Council, concluded: “The Marine Energy Council were delighted to join the Minister on her visit to EMEC where we discussed the extensive opportunities for wave and tidal stream energy in the UK. The visit illustrated the true extent of the sector’s economic potential, with supply chain activities carried out in engineering workshops and manufacturing plants spanning the length and breadth of the UK.

“This domestic sector has the capability to lead the world, making a major contribution to the UK’s net-zero targets, green recovery and the levelling-up agenda. We welcomed the opportunity to discuss the value in setting a 1 GW target for marine energy technologies in the 2030s and the necessary revenue support reforms to unlock this sector from Contracts for Difference (AR4) later this year onwards. We look forward to working with the UK Government to deliver upon the potential of the marine energy sector.”

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