31 Jul First ever Scottish marine energy park opened
Scotland could be “the Saudi Arabia of marine energy”.
Scottish news: First ever Scottish marine energy park opened
by Cameron Ings-Hodgson
Scotland’s first marine energy park was officially opened yesterday in the Pentland Firth – one of the most tidally turbulent stretches of water in the world.
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park, which is the second of its kind in the UK, will incorporate the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) which has been attracting energy developers to test out their renewable energy prototypes since 2003.
The EMEC boasts to provide “the world’s only multi-berth, purpose built, open sea test facilities for wave and tidal energy converters” and has the patronage of energy companies like E.ON and Scottish Power Renewables.
The EMEC is a partner of the European Community funded MARINET initiative, through which developers can apply for funding to use EMEC facilities like the new maritime energy park in the Pentland Firth.
Greg Barker, the Energy minister for Westminster said that: “Marine power is a growing green, clean source of power which has the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15 billion to the economy by 2050.”
He said that there was the potential to generate 27GW of electricity in the UK by 2050 through wave and tidal power. This is a similar output to power generated from eight coal-fired power stations and is sufficient to power roughly 15 million homes. The website www.tidalenergy.eu estimates that wave and tidal energy available around the Orkney Island and Pentland Firth area has a generation potential of approximately 60GW.
Scottish Energy minister Fergus Ewing said that the new marine park “proves that scotland continues to be the jewel in the crown of all wave and tidal energy”, echoing comments made by Alex Salmond in 2010, when he said that Scotland could be “the Saudi Arabia of marine energy”.
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