Glasgow success for first UK marine energy conference

A four-rotor view of future marine power presented by Dr. Peter Fraenkel at the conference
A four-rotor view of future marine power presented by Dr. Peter Fraenkel at the conference

The first UK Marine Energy Conference held earlier this month Glasgow attracted the leaders of the UK marine energy industry, with the conference and networking event not only celebrating industry successes, as well as exploring why and how this progress can be accelerated in future.

The conference agenda discussed recent tidal and wave projects, current and future policy, current challenges and possible solutions, the latest technology and test sites. 

Julie Steel from the Scot-Govt. opened the day focusing on marine energy policy with Scotland as the case study. This was followed by Lara Moore from Ashfords, one of UK Marine’s sponsors, who provided a review of and necessary advice for marine licensing in the UK. 

Jason Hayman, Sustainable Marine Energy,  gave an energetic presentation on SME’s floating tidal energy platform technology in Orkney, while FloWave’s Stuart Brown and Eoin Nicholson from SmartBay Ireland both discussed their test sites in the technology session, drawing upon their experience with the industry’s biggest players. 

The projects’ session saw presentations from some of the top developers from all over the UK. 

Dr Graham Foster from Marine Power Systems discussed the WaveSub technology and how it has the potential to address marine energy’s most significant issues, such as operating costs. 

Minesto’s Dr Martin Edlund focused on site development and how to build durable customer relationships, while Robert East provided an update on Open Hydro’s latest projects, touching on their technological innovations. 

In the final session of the day, the speakers considered what challenges the industry needs to consider and how they could be overcome.

Professor Peter Fraenkel from Fraenkel Wright Ltd, discussed the relationship between rated power and profitability for tidal turbines – ultimately ‘big makes money – small makes losses’. This was definitely a key topic of discussion for the day.

Adam Schink presented the  Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, and how its marine autonomous systems can remove the danger from subsea applications, among many other benefits.

Dr Claire Haggett from Edinburgh University concluded the conference by giving the marine energy industry a personal touch. Her presentation on community responses sparked an interesting discussion and reminded us who this industry can have the biggest effect on. 

A spokeswoman for the organisers, said: “UK Marine is proud to have had such a varied and exciting line-up of speakers, and are thankful not only to them but to Professor Stephen Salter and Dr Gordon Dalton who both moderated the conference, kicking off lively the debates and discussions, for their involvement.”

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