UK government backs EMEC’s growth with £3 million

The UK Government is set to award a new £4.6 million support package for the UK’s islands, £3 million of which will be awarded to the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) over two years.

Source: EMEC

The funding boost will support EMEC’s growth plans, further helping the center deliver the UK’s net zero ambitions, increase innovation and investment in research and development, and drive the levelling up agenda and green growth in island communities.

Growth plans include expanding test facilities to support tidal energy arrays, as well as further diversification to integrate green hydrogen, storage, offshore wind, and islanded decarbonisation projects.

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Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove made the funding announcement at the fourth UK Islands Forum in Anglesey where island local authorities from across the UK gathered. EMEC’s facilities were featured in a tour during the inaugural Islands Forum held in Orkney in 2022.

“For the past 20 years, EMEC has driven the development of a marine energy sector in the UK to enhance the range of technologies available to decarbonise our energy mix and improve the robustness of the UK electricity system,” said Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director.

“We have facilitated innovation and investment in R&D through our test and demonstration sites for both ocean energy and other new innovative technologies, accelerating cost reduction, boosting domestic supply chain and manufacturing capability and readying the UK for scaling up. This activity has helped peripheral regions to capture the economic benefits of the energy transition, building on Orkney’s track record of being a lighthouse community for renewable energy generation.”

EMEC was set up as a not-for-profit test facility in 2003 following a recommendation by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to kick start a wave and tidal energy sector in the UK.

An economic impact assessment by BiGGAR Economics spanning 20 years of operations values impact of EMEC to the UK economy at £370 million, with £263 million accrued in Scotland, and half of that, £130 million, in the Orkney Islands where the center is based.

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