UK. EMEC to support development of Chinese marine energy test site

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Sino-Scots connections strengthened following new EMEC partnership

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, Scotland, has strengthened its ties with China having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with organisations based in Qingdao to support the development of a marine energy test site in the area.

Scottish-based EMEC and the University of Edinburgh, signed the MoU alongside the Ocean University of China (OUC), Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM), and Qingdao Songling Power Environmental Equipment Company (QSPEEC) at the UK-China Energy Dialogue - an annual forum for UK and Chinese government, business and academic leaders to meet and discuss the strategic challenges facing their respective energy sectors.

The MoU states intent to share knowledge and carry out fundamental research to establish a wave energy test site in Qingdao.

Signing the agreement earlier today, EMEC’s Commercial Director, Oliver Wragg remarked:

“Scotland and China have a common interest to support the global development of marine energy technologies. As the first test centre of its kind, EMEC has endured some steep learning curves during its own development, and we see no point in other countries having to reinvent the wheel.  

“Having overseen more than 1000 marine energy activities at our test sites in Orkney covering device deployments, grid connections, cable laying operations, data collection and various monitoring activities, we have many experiences to share with our Chinese counterparts that can make their journey a great deal smoother.

“And by working together, we can help open up markets across the world for wave and tidal energy technologies currently in development”.

Professor Hongda Shi from Ocean University of China (OUC) said:

“Marine renewable energy in China has the potential for a brilliant future, but we have a long way to go. The short-cut for development is to cooperate with the countries who have advanced technology and abundant experience. Scotland is no doubt such a country, and EMEC is the leader of the domain.

“Enterprise, together with university, can make both theoretical and applicable achievements. We hope that collaboration between both countries will make marine renewable energy a big market which benefits Scotland and China.”

Professor Robin Wallace, of the University of Edinburgh added:

“Developing wave and tidal energy technologies, human capacity and know-how to help address the energy trilemma of security, affordability and sustainability is a global challenge.  Working together in international collaborations, such as this, will help to meet that exciting challenge and accelerate the establishment of the sector.”   

Lisa MacKenzie, Marketing & Communications Officer

Editors notes:

About EMEC

Established in 2003, EMEC is the world’s leading facility for testing wave and tidal energy converters in real sea conditions. The centre offers independent, accredited grid-connected test berths for full-scale prototypes, as well as test sites in less challenging conditions for use by smaller scale technologies, supply chain companies, and equipment manufacturers.

To date, more marine energy converters have been deployed in Orkney, Scotland, than at any other single site in the world: EMEC has hosted 16 wave and tidal energy clients (with 25 marine energy devices) spanning 9 countries.

With over 12 years of unprecedented experience, EMEC also offers technology verification, a range of research and consultancy services, and has facilitated the development of international standards for marine energy.

About Ocean University of China (OUC)

Ocean University of China (OUC) is a comprehensive university with particular strengths in oceanography and fisheries science. It is the cradle of China’s marine professionals, and it has graduated a large number of competent specialists in marine science for China. OUC is recognized as the driving force of China’s marine research and application. It boasts a number of research institutions at national level, including Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology.

Marine renewable energy, as a new research area, has been improved in the university. In the last five years, OUC has undertaken more than 10 high level projects from NSFC and MoST on wave and tidal energy. For further research, OUC is seeking for its partner internationally.

About Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM)

Established in December 2013 with approval, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM) is jointly built by Ministry of Science and Technology, Shandong Province and Qingdao Municipality. Carrying out fundamental research and cutting-edge technology development around the national marine development strategy, it will build the comprehensive and open international marine science research center and collaborative innovation platform based in Qingdao, serving the whole country and facing the world.

Combining with marine science and technology development trends as well as its own research base and advantage, it has eight key research directions, of which marine renewable energy is one.

About Qingdao Songling Power Environmental Equipment Co., Ltd (QSPEEC)

Qingdao Songling Power Environmental Equipment Co., Ltd (QSPEEC) was established in 1999. It is an enterprise which has professional skills of manufacturing power equipment such as ash cooler and wave energy devices. Recently, QSPEEC made a set of heaving buoys that have the capacity of 100kW under the collaboration with OUC.

About the University of Edinburgh (UoE)

The University of Edinburgh has been at the forefront of wave and tidal energy research and development since the 1970s, when Stephen Salter pioneered the development of the Edinburgh Duck.  Its Institute for Energy Systems (IES), with over 50 academic and research staff host and lead the EPSRC-sponsored SuperGen UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER).

UKCMER is a fifteen-university collaborative research consortium delivering world-leading research ranging from analysis of the marine energy resource and environmental interaction, through numerical and physical modelling of device concepts, development of device technology, sub-systems and components, exploration of the effects operating in arrays and extreme and repetitive loadings, to economics and policy.

IES operates the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility that includes the world-unique, 25 metre diameter circular current and wave test basin.  As an ‘ocean in the lab’ it can emulate the sea conditions for wave and tidal energy conversion anywhere in the world - and specifically at EMEC – giving the UK a unique development conduit for wave and tidal energy technologies.

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