The renewable energy industry gathered last night (Wednesday 22 May) to celebrate the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) 10th anniversary at the annual All-Energy Exhibition and Conference in Aberdeen.
Over 250 people attended a reception held on the HI-energy and Orkney pavilions at the show, which featured a wide range of Orkney produce.
The celebrations were opened by the Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Professor Lorne Crerar, who said:
“EMEC has been the catalyst for Scotland’s role as global leader in marine energy renewables. The growth and success of EMEC has been a perfect example of Team Scotland at work, with strong leadership from HIE, the public sector, industry and academia. Together we have created the momentum which ensures that Orkney, the region and Scotland remains at the forefront of marine energy development and deployment.”
EMEC remains the world’s first and only grid-connected, independently accredited test centre for wave and tidal energy devices. The facility has grown from having nine test berths available, to now operating 14 berths, in addition to two scale test sites where smaller scale devices, or those at an earlier stage in their development, can gain real sea experience in less challenging conditions.
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC since November 2005, who has overseen the rapid growth and expansion of the facility said:
“All-Energy provides a wonderful platform at which to showcase the progress the marine energy sector has made over the last decade, and having an ever-increasing number of developers keen to demonstrate their work with us at the exhibition is hugely encouraging.
“To have so many people join us for this celebration is wonderful, and we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everybody who has contributed to EMEC’s success to date. There is still much to be achieved in this sector, and so tomorrow, it will be back to work to increase our efforts to ensure that this industry can maximise its potential.”
The facility has made a huge contribution to the economy of Orkney, the Highlands and Islands and Scotland as a whole. Over the course of the last ten years, around 250 jobs have been created in Orkney in the marine energy sector, and EMEC itself has contributed £57m of GVA to the Orkney economy, and £120m for the whole of Scotland.
Calum Davidson, HIE’s Director of Energy and Low Carbon, said:
“EMEC is a fantastic facility, leading the world in the deployment and testing of marine energy devices. HIE is very pleased to see EMEC reach this significant milestone, and would like to congratulate the staff at the facility on all of their achievements over the last decade, and to wish them every success for the future.”
All-Energy continues today (Thursday 24th May) and features companies from all sectors of the renewable energy industry from across Scotland, the UK as well as overseas.