UK Government Supports EMEC Growth Plans

UK Government Supports EMEC Growth Plans
(Image credit: EMEC)

The UK Government has announced a new £4.6 million support package for the UK’s islands, £3 million of which will be awarded to the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) over two years.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove made the announcement as island local authorities from across the UK gathered for the fourth UK Islands Forum in Anglesey. EMEC’s facilities were featured in a tour during the inaugural Islands Forum held in Orkney in 2022.

EMEC is the world’s first and leading wave and tidal energy testing facility and has hosted more ocean energy technologies than anywhere else in the world.

EMEC was set up as a not-for-profit test facility in 2003 following a recommendation by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to kick start a wave and tidal energy sector in the UK. An economic impact assessment spanning two decades of EMEC’s operations values impact of the test center to the UK economy at £370 million; £263 million of that was accrued in Scotland, and half of that, £130 million, in the Orkney Islands where EMEC is based.

Since being set up the center has become a strategically important innovation center for the UK, having instigated research and demonstrations for the ocean energy sector, as well as the integration of renewables, production of green hydrogen and storage solutions.

EMEC is fundamental in supporting industry to commercialize new technology, by reducing risk, costs and time to deploy. EMEC also helps improve efficiency by taking part in R&D projects totaling £538 million for the renewable industry.

With a funding boost of £3 million, the UK Government will support EMEC’s growth plans, further helping EMEC to deliver the UK’s net zero ambitions, increase innovation and investment in research and development and drive the levelling up agenda and green growth in island communities.

Growth plans include expanding test facilities to support tidal energy arrays, as well as further diversification to integrate green hydrogen, storage, offshore wind, and islanded decarbonization projects.

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