|28 February 2016|


The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) hosted the third International WaTERS (Wave and Tidal Energy Research Sites) workshop last week.

Nine countries were represented from around the globe including Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the USA.

The workshop was a fitting end to a productive week of discussions, networking, conference sessions and side events at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) 2016 in Edinburgh.

Established at EMEC’s International Test Centres Symposium in Orkney in 2013, the International WaTERS network brings together operational and planned test sites from around the world to discuss common issues and agree actions for collaborating for the good of marine energy.

In 2014, the network met again in Nova Scotia, Canada, at an event jointly hosted by EMEC and the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE).

This time round, discussions were focused on key issues identified by participating organisations as: environmental monitoring and licencing; marine operations, electrical operations and safety; and funding research programmes, government support and business planning.

It was concluded that the network of test sites can play an important role in ensuring common research and demonstration agendas, to increase the effectiveness of research programmes and avoid duplication of effort.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC: “We’ve already exceeded 400ppm carbon in our atmosphere, and that’s rising quickly towards the maximum our planet can cope with. This is a global issue, and we must work together to solve it.

“We see global collaboration as essential to the successful development of marine renewables. You only need to travel abroad and experience the pointless diversity that grew up in something as simple as a plug and socket to see why working together is ideal. If we can stay synchronised we can avoid that sort of waste being accidentally built into our industry”.

Brian Polagye, Co-Director Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, USA: “The workshop highlighted the collective challenges facing test facilities and their ability to work together to overcome and advance the industry.”