The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – based on Orkney – has become a member of the Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association to support the development of marine renewables in Japan and stimulate further collaboration between the two countries.
Oliver Wragg, EMEC Commercial Director, signed up to the association during a recent marine energy trade mission to Japan which was focused on keeping Scottish companies up to date with developments in the Japanese renewable energy market, assessing market opportunities within the region and meeting key companies in the industry.
He said: “International collaboration is vital for the development of the marine renewables industry.
“Only by working with other countries can we ensure that there is a global market available for clients testing their pioneering devices in Scotland, so we are delighted to become members of Nagasaki marine industry cluster in the pursuit of a sustainable energy mix.”
Japan imports over 75% of its primary energy needs and therefore security of energy supply is a key government concern with regards to renewables.
This has become a major priority for the Japanese Government as the bulk of its nuclear power stations have been closed down due to fears of a further accident similar to the Fukushima nuclear plant accident caused by the earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011.
The Japanese Government sees offshore renewables as one of the potential solutions to replace the 25% of electricity previously provided by their 53 power stations. The government has pledged over £200 billion to assist the transition to new forms of power and have put in place a range of feed in tariffs to support this major shift in their energy mix.
Toshiyuki Sakai, President of NaMICPA, said: “With a focus on marine renewables, the association has been set up to promote marine industry in Nagasaki, supporting businesses within the prefecture via a network of industry, academia and government, as well as international stakeholders.
“Scotland is leading the way in the development of marine renewables, and having EMEC, the world’s leading test centre, involved in the association will provide a depth of knowledge that will support the development on marine renewables here in Japan.”
Takaaki Morita, Director of the Marine Industry Development Office at the Industry and Labour Department, Nagasaki Prefectural Government, said: “We have high expectations that the Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association, an industry body comprising local companies, is clearing the path for firms to enter the marine renewable energy industry by starting a broad-based alliance with relevant players at home and abroad.
“We believe that it would be wonderful if EMEC and allied companies could enhance relationships with companies in Nagasaki Prefecture which would help develop the marine renewable energy industry by facilitating the development and commercial application of floating wind and tidal power turbine-based power generation in Nagasaki.”