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Pentland Firth and Orkney waters get onboard with marine power

30 July 2012

The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters in the North of Scotland have confirmed their place on the global marine energy map as the area is designated a Marine Energy Park.

Open Hydro's test rig at the EMEC tidal test site (Image: Mike Brookes-Roper)

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker welcomed the launch of the marine park during a visit to Thurso in Caithness, where he is set to address key players from across the marine renewable energy industry.

The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park will incorporate the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) which attracts developers from across the world and where testing of a wide range of wave and tidal energy devices is already under way.

The purpose of the park is to heighten the international profile of the region and its reputation as a world leader in marine energy. The park will build on collaborative partnerships in the region between government on the main land and the Orkney Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise(HIE), plus a cluster of local expertise and renewable resource in the area, to help speed up progress of marine power development.

Energy from waves or tides has the potential to generate 27GW of power in the UK alone by 2050, equivalent to the power generated from eight coal fired power stations. A move to marine power can also help cut emissions and tackle climate change.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “This area is already a vital part of the marine industry, thanks to its high tidal stream and wave resource. This stretch of water is also home to the European Marine Energy Centre, currently unrivalled anywhere else in the world. This park will help bring together local knowledge and expertise to spur on further development in this exciting industry."


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