Photo: UK energy minister and Orbital CEO viewing Orbital O2 tidal turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Colin Keldie)

UK energy minister gets first-hand glimpse of country’s marine energy potential

UK energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has visited the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney to see the advancements taking place in ocean energy and discuss the UK’s potential to develop a new world-leading renewable energy industry.

UK energy minister and Andrew Scott, Orbital CEO, viewing Orbital O2 tidal turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Colin Keldie)
UK energy minister and Andrew Scott, Orbital CEO, viewing Orbital O2 tidal turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Colin Keldie)

Anne-Marie Trevelyan was joined by David Duguid, UK Government minister for Scotland, to discuss marine energy sector and the UK’s potential to develop a world-leading industry which will contribute to green recovery and the UK Government’s overarching net-zero 2050 target.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s managing director, Richard Graham, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Marine Energy, and various UK Marine Energy Council (MEC) members participated in the meeting prior to heading out to sea to visit EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site.

During the tour, Trevelyan and Duguid witnessed tidal turbines by Orbital Marine Power and Magallanes Renovables in action at EMEC’s test site.

The Scottish-built Orbital O2 turbine was developed with 80% UK supply chain content highlighting the national opportunities for industry development and positive economic impact. The Spanish-founded ATIR tidal turbine by Magallanes Renovables further exemplifies the inward investment and export opportunities for Scotland and the UK, according to EMEC.

Upon returning to shore in Kirkwall, they met with EMEC and Orkney Islands Council to discuss marine energy opportunities for Orkney and the archipelago’s wider energy landscape.

Group shot with UK energy minister at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Colin Keldie)
Group shot with UK energy minister at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Colin Keldie)

This was followed by a roundtable lunch with MEC members and ocean energy supply chain companies to discuss the tangible potential ocean energy offers to level up coastal and island areas and to further the just transition as a nascent renewable energy industry with notable export potential for the UK.

Prior to departure, the Ministers also visited EMEC’s hydrogen fuel cell and storage trailers at Kirkwall Pier and were introduced to members of EMEC’s operations team who outlined how the green hydrogen economy is developing in Orkney.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK minister for energy, clean growth and climate change, said: “The British coastline offers enormous potential for marine power to form part of our transition to a low carbon economy.

“It was a privilege to visit EMEC in Orkney to see first-hand the incredible work taking place to develop wave and tidal energy technology, and kick start an entire new renewables industry in the UK.

“Being an island nation means we are in the best position possible to reap the benefits of our natural, renewable resources to produce clean energy, helping us build back greener from the pandemic and reach our ambitious climate goals”.

Neil Kermode added: “A visit to Orkney offers a glimpse into our energy future. Orkney is a pathfinder to net zero – a living laboratory with a track record in innovation and a world-leading centre for marine energy.

“The flexibility, predictability and resilience offered by wave and tidal energy technologies, combined with positive economic impacts for coastal communities make marine energy an important part of the UK’s renewable energy mix.

“It was fantastic to host Anne-Marie Trevelyan and David Duguid and showcase the ongoing activities and future potential of both the industry and the archipelago”.