The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has hosted the third International WaTERS (Wave and Tidal Energy Research Sites) workshop in Edinburgh.
Nine countries were represented from around the globe including Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the USA.
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.
This time round, discussions were focused on key issues identified by participating organisations as: environmental monitoring and licensing; 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, EMEC Managing Director, commented: “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”.
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 Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre, 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, Nagasaki Prefectural Government, 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 in Edinburgh. We would like to keep good relationships to find a way to sort our common challenges.”
Patrick Cross, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (University of Hawaii), said: “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”.