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Archive for September, 2014

Getting it right

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

I was struck by the desire to get things done at the Marine conference in Inverness.  And it was all about getting it right too. The views weren’t short term either.

Energy generation and innovation have to come hand and hand. The feeling amongst delegates was that was absolutely crucial with wave and tidal marine energy.  It was less about scale and more about technical expertise this year.  So it’s going to be very interesting to see further developments and collaboration going as companies in the sector push on down the road to the commercialisation of their products. 

Success is always an inspiration to others and the imminent kick off of the MeyGen project’s first tidal array in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth is proving to be a great tonic for the sector.   It’ll be interesting to see if there is further interest in developing projects here in Scotland as a result of  MeyGen.

The issues relating to the grid came to the fore once more at the conference particularly in relation to the Northern Isles and the Western Isles. There’s no doubt that power generation in marine energy happens in the more remote parts of Scotland. Finding a viable route to market for that power remains a challenge. But every part of the energy sector has faced challenges in development so, getting back to the main thrust of the conference, namely getting the technology right, add grid to list of areas needing to get the nuts and blots and well the cables of connection right. Challenges are there to be overcome. 

Then there was the other crucial conference challenge – getting your exhibition stand sorted ,safely. The simplicity of the pop up stand proved to be a bit of a hazard as I put up one at the HIE stand at this conference. No sooner was it up but it was swiftly back in its box, a speedy retreat which could have proved painful for my fingers! But no – the pop up and I survived to see the conference through and learnt a lesson in mutual respect. Expect even more collaborative work between the companies who were alongside us in Inverness this week.

Marine Energy Conference Inverness

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

It’ll be good to catch up with delegates at the Marine Conference in Inverness today.

There’s been huge investment in the wave and tidal energy industries to date and Scotland is leading the way in the development of these innovative renewable energy technologies.

The MeyGen tidal stream project is kicking off in Caithness and once again this demonstrates the cutting edge developments which are taking place in the Highlands and Islands. Companies in the area are benefiting too with opportunities across the supply chain.

Looking forward to the debates and discussions. I’ll report back.