EMEC hosts collaborative talks
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has hosted the third International WaTERS (Wave and Tidal Energy Research Sites) workshop.
Nine countries were represented from around the globe including Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the USA.
The event concluded 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 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. These included environmental monitoring and licencing, marine operations, electrical operations and safety, funding for research programmes, government support, and business planning.
It was concluded that the network of test sites can play an important role in increasing the effectiveness of research programmes.
Neil Kermode, managing director at EMEC, said: “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.”
John Breslin, general manager at SmartBay Ireland, said: “I’m delighted that this excellent workshop provided the unique opportunity to strengthen ties with other test site operators, and share experiences and lessons learnt.
“I sincerely hope we can continue this momentum which will move us closer towards developing international best practice for the management and operation of ocean energy test sites.”
Brian Polagye, co-director at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center in the USA, said: “The workshop highlighted the collective challenges facing test facilities and their ability to work together to overcome and advance the industry.”
Kiyohiko Ko, from the Nagasaki Prefectural Government in Japan, said: “It was very useful for us to learn about the different test sites in the world, and it was very nice to have the opportunity to have collaborative discussions here. We would like to keep good relationships to find a way to sort our common challenges.”
Patrick Cross, from the Natural Energy Institute at theUniversity of Hawaii, added: “It was an outstanding opportunity to interact with our colleagues from other test centres, share information about our wave energy tests in Hawaii, and gain additional perspectives on what we might expect as we go forward.”