Orkney-based marine energy centre takes place in Top 200 global-influence projects

Wave energy devices at the Billia Croo test site in Orkney. PHOTO Colin Keldie
Wave energy devices at the Billia Croo test site in Orkney. PHOTO Colin Keldie

The Institution of Civil Engineers has selected the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre as one of its Top 200 global-influencing centres.

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and to support UK Government’s Year of Engineering, the Institution is highlighting 200 inspirational and world-changing projects from around the world throughout 2018.

Nominated by the ICE’s members and selected by an expert panel, the chosen projects illustrate the breadth and depth of civil engineering’s impact.  

The European Marine Energy Centre joins the 200 projects which will be published throughout the year on the What Is Civil Engineering? pages of the ICE website. What is Civil Engineering? will not only host these projects but can also be used as a career guidance tool for those hoping to pursue a career in civil engineering.

Established in 2003, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is the world’s leading facility supporting the testing, demonstration and verification of wave and tidal energy devices, with 20 developers from 11 different countries having tested innovative renewable technologies in Orkney.

Orkney is now host to a highly experienced supply chain for the wave and tidal energy sectors, servicing local projects as well as exporting their knowledge and expertise globally.

There are numerous success stories including the world’s largest floating tidal test turbine, Scotrenewables’ SR1-2000, which has generated up to 7% of Orkney’s electricity needs on occasion. This activity has acted as a catalyst for economic growth in the region, encouraging local talent to take advantage of the jobs being created on their doorstep whilst also attracting people to move to the Orkney from across the world.

The Carbon Trust estimates that 20% of the UK’s electricity could come from marine renewables; an industry in which the UK is in pole position and in which there are world-wide export opportunities worth billions. 

Neil Kermode, EMEC managing director, said: “All the advances taking place here in Orkney bring huge opportunities to the marine industries of the UK. With the continued encouragement, further investment and commitment from government, we know marine energy will help make the UK a prosperous, de-carbonised and green economy.”

5 Jul 2018

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