European Marine Energy Centre to work with China's Ocean University
(Issued by Scottish Enterprise)
Experts from Scotland's world-leading wave and tidal testing hub the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) are to collaborate with their marine energy counterparts from the Ocean University of China (OUC) in Shandong Province under a new partnership announced by First Minister Alex Salmond today.
Staff from the Orkney-based facility will assist OUC to develop a wave test centre in Shandong. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed to foster closer working relationships between EMEC, the University and Qingdao Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
The First Minister announced the new partnership while visiting the Shandong Province, and visited also Himin Solar Valley to discuss the potential for research and investment in renewable and low carbon technologies. Mr Salmond also renewed an Memorandum of Understanding between Scotland and Shandong Province, signed by the First Minister and Governor Jiang.
Mr Salmond said: "Nature has provided powerful resources that, combined with great human endeavour and ingenuity, can be harnessed to create plentiful clean renewable energy. This is an ambition shared between China and Scotland - two nations with a strong industrial heritage and reputation for innovation. Both nations also have extensive coastlines and considerable marine resources. Scotland has around a quarter of Europe's tidal resource and around a tenth of the continent's wave power potential. Building on our natural endowment of oil and gas reserves, we already have an internationally-renowned offshore engineering base that is diversifying into marine and, of course, wind power. Wave and tidal energy developers from around the world are bringing their pioneering technologies to Scotland's world-leading European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney -creating a critical mass of expertise in this exciting sector. This new partnership between EMEC and the Ocean University of China can help accelerate the development of marine energy technologies that will play an increasing role in powering the major economies of China, Europe and elsewhere, while reducing harmful emissions to tackle climate change."
Established in 2003, EMEC is the world's only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy, suitable for testing 14 devices simultaneously in some of the harshest sea conditions while exporting electricity to the grid. All but one of these full-scale berths have been leased. Among the devices at EMEC is ScottishPower Renewables' P2 Pelamis Wave Power device that China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang saw during construction at the Edinburgh-based developer's Leith facility, when he visited Scotland in January.
EMEC commercial director Richard Morris commented: "EMEC is delighted to be working with the Ocean University of China. Our knowledge and understanding of how to design, set up and operate a test centre, backed up by robust methodologies and processes, gives us the unique capability to provide consultancy support to other countries wishing to set up their own marine energy test sites. EMEC's staff have a wealth of expertise and day-to-day understanding of all issues relevant to the testing of devices in the marine environment, and the confidence to deal with all eventualities arising during the vitally important stages of the test process. There are significant wave and tidal resources across the globe and at EMEC we are very pleased to be exporting our knowledge and expertise to further the development of the global marine energy industry - in this case strengthening ties between Scotland and China. This strategic collaboration further reinforces EMEC's world-leading position at the forefront of the renewable energy industry."
Professor Hongda Shi, Dean, College of Engineering, OUC, said: "Ocean University China and Qingdao Municipal Science and Technology Commission are pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EMEC. We look forward to sharing ideas that will further the marine renewable industry in China utilising the expertise already built up in Scotland. We envisage a long and fruitful relationship between the three organisations."
Scottish Development International chief executive Anne MacColl added: "Renewable energy, particularly wind and wave power, is an area where Scotland's significant capabilities make us highly competitive on the global stage. Some of our biggest economic opportunities lie in the growth of this sector, and today's announcement is a real testament to that. The skills and expertise coming out of EMEC are truly world-leading and Scottish Development International will continue to explore the real long-term opportunities partnerships such as these will bring both to Scotland and China."