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Press release: EMEC’s 4th collaboration agreement in Asia

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd, based in Orkney, Scotland, has announced another major international collaboration agreement, in which the world-leading test facility will assist in the development of a marine energy test centre in Taiwan.

Speaking at the inaugural Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC-2012) on Jeju Island, Korea, EMEC’s commercial director Richard Morris announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between EMEC and the National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU), the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and an Orkney based consultancy company, Aquatera.

This partnership adds to EMEC’s reach across continental Asia, having signed similar agreements with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan, Ocean University of China, and Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea over the last year.

With areas of excellent wave and tidal resources, Asia is keen to capitalise on the potential that marine renewables offers, and the first AWTEC exemplified the importance and need for greater international co-operation.

Established in 2003, EMEC is the world’s first and only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy, and has successfully supported the deployment of more grid-connected devices at its full-scale wave and tidal testing facilities, than at any other single site in the world. The Centre is therefore in a prime position to provide advice in setting up and operating similar test facilities in other countries.

NTOU and ITRI are keen to utilise this unparalleled experience and knowledge of testing in real sea conditions to further the marine renewables sector in Taiwan.

Commenting on the announcement, First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“I welcome the news that the European Marine Energy Centre, based in Orkney, has signed a major international collaboration that will build on existing relationships between Scotland and Taiwan in the development of marine renewables.

“This memorandum will see the expertise of two Orcadian companies used to help develop a demonstration site for wave and tidal power in Taiwan.  Scotland is leading the way in the development of renewable energy technology and agreements such as this show that the skills and knowledge of our engineers and companies are in demand across the globe as the world moves to a low carbon future.”

EMEC’s commercial director, Richard Morris said:

“EMEC are very pleased to be supporting Taiwan in their move towards utilising marine renewable energy.  The building of a demonstration site to further the excellent work being done by ITRI and NTOU is part of the increasing amount of consulting work that EMEC is undertaking.  The knowledge that we have amassed and the skills acquired, allow us a unique insight as to what is feasible and achievable.

“Great insight has been shown by the public sector throughout EMEC’s development, and as the Centre approached its 10th birthday next year, the fact that Scotland is already exporting its unrivalled expertise demonstrates that the initial public investment is paying off, and to a greater extent than what could have ever been expected.”

ITRI are developing a point absorber wave energy converter which has been tested near NTOU, located near the northeast corner of Taiwan. The area hosts the country’s most abundant wave energy resources, with strong tidal currents nearby as well.

Sheng-Chung Lo, manager of the Ocean Energy Technology Department, ITRI said:

“Taiwan has set a marine energy power generation target at 2025 to reach 200MW and really needs a marine energy test site to serve local and international marine energy developer’s needs.

“Taiwan is pleased to be utilising EMEC’s know-how to set up a marine energy test site which will add to the experience that Aquatera and ITRI have from four years cooperation.  The signing of the 4-way MOU will ensure the establishment of a marine energy test site that is best suited for Taiwan and helps Taiwan’s marine energy development.”

This agreement follows on from 5 years of preparatory work by Aquatera who have been working with ITRI on a long term project to develop the capacity for a wave energy industry in Taiwan.

Gareth Davies, managing director of Aquatera Ltd added:

“Aquatera is pleased that through our past work with ITRI we have been able to facilitate the sharing of EMEC’s expertise for the benefit of the marine renewables industry in Taiwan. We are delighted to be signing our second agreement with ITRI which will enable Aquatera to build on our excellent work with colleagues and partners in Taiwan. This relationship allows us to utilise our consultancy expertise as part of Taiwan’s exciting new developments in marine renewables.”

Attending the AWTEC last week, Mr Morris chaired the ‘Tidal Energy – Interference Effect’ session and presented on “The benefits of a marine renewable test and demonstration centre” in the Asia/UK Collaboration workshop.

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