UK to keep its leading edge in marine power
This is the second of the Coalition Government's UK Marine Energy Parks. The first marine energy park in South West England was launched in January this year.
The park in Scottish waters will incorporate the earlier established European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) that attracts developers from across the world and where testing of a wide range of wave and tidal energy devices is already under way.
The park will build on collaborative partnerships in the region between government on the main land and the Orkney Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), plus a cluster of local expertise and renewable resource in the area, to help speed up progress of marine power development.
The EMEC wave clients include Aquamarine Power, E.ON, ScottishPower Renewables, Seatricity, Vattenfal, and Wello. Tidal clients include Andriz Hydro, Atlantis Resources Corporation, Bluewater Energy Services, Kawasaki Heavy IndustriesOpen Hydro, Scotrenewables, Tidal Generation, and Voith Hydro.
World leader in marine power
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters is already a vital part of the UK's growing marine sector and is home to some of the best wave and tidal resource in the country as well as home grown marine expertise.
Energy from waves or tides has the potential to generate 27 gigawatts of power in the UK alone by 2050, equivalent to the power generated from eight coal fired power stations.
"Marine power is a growing green clean source of power which has the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible 15 billion pounds to the economy by 2050," said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.
"The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power and we need to really capitalize on this to ensure energy from marine reaches its full potential in our future energy mix," Barker said.
Commercial scale leasing
This stretch of water is also the site of the world's first commercial scale leasing round for marine energy. As announced by the Crown Estate (TCE) in 2010, there are 11 successful bidders for sites in Scotland's Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
Up to 1.6 gigawatts (600 megawatts from wave and 1000 megawatts from tidal stream) proposed by the developers involved in this leasing round, could, if developed to full capacity, meet the electricity needs of up to three quarters of a million homes. www.emec.org.uk
"The test sites of the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney have established it as a world-leading facility in the testing and certification of marine energy devices, allowing a competitive advantage for a new UK industry," said Convener of Orkney Islands Council, Councillor Steven Heddle.
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