The steps which need to be taken to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of wave and tidal energy sectors have been outlined in a report released on 25th September by the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI). The Wave & Tidal Transformation report highlights the opportunities and challenges for technology developers and subsea supply chain companies looking to do business in these sectors.
It outlines how and where companies can get involved with the developing sector and the requirements for industry driven research.
To date, more than £450m has been spent across the UK wave and tidal supply chain and the global industry is forecast to be worth up to £76bn by 2050.
NSRI has identified the need for a dedicated taskforce, supported by industry and government to drive forward technology development, knowledge sharing and stewardship for strategic direction and industry-wide promotion.
Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse has backed the report and spoke out in favour of NSRI’s plans to help companies capitalise on the huge opportunities the sectors present, he commented: "I welcome this report which further highlights the enormous potential of our wave and tidal energy industries. With our supportive policy environment, skilled supply chain and expertise in energy innovation, Scotland is the natural home for marine energy development and well placed to benefit from the enormous global market for wave and tidal energy.
“The Scottish Government continues to support the research, development, innovation and demonstration that will maintain Scotland's competitive advantage, and is committed to working with the sector to find a way to ensure it receives the support which will enable it to flourish."
The report also highlights the outcomes from the recent NSRI Mastermining workshop which saw NSRI work in partnership with the ORE Catapult and Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) to carry out in-depth research into the wave and tidal sectors.
These outcomes include the identification of synergistic operational areas that subsea oil and gas could offer cost effective solutions to, such as materials and corrosion, installation and integrity management. It also highlights opportunities across key technological themes including; sensors and connectors, seabed anchoring solutions, and data capturing and processing.
Tony Laing, NSRI Director of Research and Market Acceleration, added: “Like most emerging sectors, the wave and tidal industries need to identify ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency, and our subsea technology industry can play a very important part in that, leveraging value of knowledge transfer across the whole blue economy.
“Our latest report allowed us to really deep-dive into the needs of the sector and as a result effectively outlines what must be done to ensure the UK maintains its world leading position in the wave and tidal sectors, highlighting the entry routes and the opportunities most accessible to the UK supply chain. We will now be working to act upon the recommendations from the report and put in place a taskforce to ensure that these opportunities are not missed.”
Andy McDonald, Sector Director, Energy and Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, finished: “To ensure Scotland maintains its world leading position in subsea engineering, we must continue to develop new opportunities, whilst broadening the delivery of new technology. Key to this is looking at how we adapt the knowledge and experience gained from more than 40 years in the oil and gas sector, to support the ongoing development of wave and tidal energy, which has huge economic potential for Scotland.
“As a funding partner of NSRI, we welcome this report and its conclusions, which we believe can play an important role in accelerating this growth. The wave and tidal energy sector can continue to develop and benefit through sharing the lessons learned from our long standing and innovative knowledge of subsea engineering. We are delighted to continue working with NSRI and other partners to help advance the opportunities that the wave and tidal sector offer.”