Bright yellow tidal turbine in the ocean off Orkney

Scottish innovation and ambition were high on the agenda at a major international marine energy conference in the Netherlands last month.

The Ocean Energy Conference (OEE) in The Hague was attended by 330 delegates from more than 30 countries from Argentina to Australia.

Along with my colleague Audrey MacIver, our director of energy transition and net zero, I was excited to be part of a Team Scotland delegation that also included colleagues from Scottish Development International, Crown Estate Scotland, Scottish Government and Wave Energy Scotland.

Our collective presence at the exhibition was alongside world-leading Scottish wave and tidal energy technology and project developers.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of OEE, pointed out that the marine energy sector is in a radically different position than it was at the start of the year. Hearing about the progress made by many developers over the course of the two days, that statement really rang true. 

Indeed, I could only feel pride at the examples from Scotland.

Among them was home-grown innovators Orkney-based Orbital Marine Power, who trailed the next iteration of their tidal energy device, the O2-X.  We heard how, along with project partners, they have been selected by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Programme to deliver a 9.6MW multi-turbine tidal energy project, EURO-TIDES.

The project will deliver a step change in the wider commercialisation programme for the scale deployment of Orbital’s technology. 

Nova Innovation meanwhile has manufactured and deployed four turbines over the past year. The company’s operations off Yell in Shetland has now clocked up more than 60,000 hours of generating time with turbine availability of over 95%.

The team are now exploring options for a global manufacturing hub. 

We also heard from the team from Mocean Energy, who talked about their Blue Horizon 250 device that will deploy at EMEC (the European Marine Energy Centre) in Orkney. Its aim is to build confidence in the industry and accelerate the technology towards commercialisation. 

Another huge draw on the Team Scotland stand was HIE subsidiary Wave Energy Scotland (WES), who are leading the biggest research and development programme ever seen in the wave energy sector. WES also hosted their own event showcasing the three successful projects currently in development that have been selected to enter the final phase of the EuropeWave programme.

We heard from Prof. Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh, one of the co-authors of the net zero roadmap that is soon to be published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Prof. Jeffrey assured us that the IEA is ‘really recognising the role of ocean energy in the global market.’ 

So, for me OEE was an intensive and very worthwhile event that firmly demonstrated the bright future that marine renewables has, especially in Scotland.

As Audrey said in her presentation, we as a nation have all the ingredients we need to realise the opportunity presented by the marine energy sector.

It’s now time for us to put them together and make sure our industry delivers a valuable and lasting contribution to overall energy policy and a just transition to net zero.

Related Posts