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Archive for the ‘Marine: wave and tidal energy’ Category

Building the foundations for the revolution

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

When you have worked in economic development as long as I have, you tend to
recognise the life cycle of big projects – the initial planning, the discussions, the
negotiations, the moment of financial closure, and the buzz when construction starts
and people are employed.

Yet, when you are helping build the framework for a whole new industry, the
development cycle is there, but it’s more subtle, comprising the background noise of
individual projects progressing towards a common goal. And just like that moment in
a crowded room, when lots of conversations pause, providing a moment of quiet, I’m
sensing a bit of calm before the storm. (more…)

Iain’s second blog

Friday, December 14th, 2012

This is my second blog entry since joining the Energy and Low Carbon team on my graduate placement at Highlands and Islands Enterprise. (more…)

The Saltire Prize – a challenge worth winning

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC and Deputy Chair of the Saltire Prize Challenge Committee, explains why the Saltire Prize is so significant for the marine renewable energy industry.

The launch of the official Saltire Prize challenge period by the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shows yet again the welcome determination by Scotland to make marine renewables a daily reality.

The Saltire Prize challenge is a serious competition. It seeks to force the pace of the development of wave and tidal energy by offering a substantial prize of £10m to the first team to generate 100GWh of electricity from Scottish waters over two years. And 100GWh is a big ask at the moment. That requires a 30MW farm of wave or tidal devices to be installed and run continuously for the two years. (more…)

Successful launch of Scotland’s 1st Marine Energy Park

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Having just returned from a busy two day trip to Caithness and Orkney, to support  the launch of Scotland’s first Marine Energy Park and join the UK Marine Energy Programme Board, I have yet again been reminded of how privileged I am to be involved in the development of the marine energy industry. 

Yes, a huge amount of work goes in to the planning and execution of such events, as my colleague Norma Hogan (Senior Development Manager: Wave and Tidal Energy), along with friends and colleagues in Orkney, Caithness, Glasgow and London know only too well, but this effort is worth its weight in gold – not least in terms of the additional media coverage our region and the industry secured;  the very public affirmation of both the Scottish and UK Energy Ministers’ support for the industry; and (we hope)  further building of confidence among local businesses of the opportunities this new industry will bring, but the Marine Energy Park launch and the UK Marine Energy Programme Board also provided the opportunity for us to spend quality time with some of the nation’s leading innovators in marine energy.  You can’t help but be energised by their enthusiasm, commitment and belief in the future of this industry, and excited by their commitment to the far north of Scotland.

This may be Gold Wednesday for Team GB but we are now in a strong position to build on our current, undisputed world leading position on marine energy, and work together to ensure that the building blocks are firmly in place to win the substantial prizes from marine energy over the next decade and beyond. 


The 3rd Marine Energy Conference

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The Scottish Renewables 3rd Marine Energy conference last week in Inverness – sponsored by Highlands and Islands – was one of the most vibrant and exiciting wave and tidal events I’ve been at in the past few years. I was delighted to be asked to give an opening keynote. Here it is in full. (more…)

Thirty five years on……….

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

When I mention to friends, family and neighbors that the Highlands and Islands is leading the world in the development of a whole new energy industry, they tend to look at best quizzical, and at worst disbelieving. I like to remind them that in 1976 Dores bay in Loch Ness was the test bed for Scotland’s first wave device, Stephen Salter’s Nodding Duck. The fate of that technology was contentious, shelved some say as a result of closed door meetings in Whitehall and secret memos from rival technologies.   (more…)

Oil, Gas and Renewables – a glimpse of the future.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

July and early August tend to be slower months in offices across Scotland, but out on the seas, harbours and fabrication shops of the Highlands and Islands things are anything but quiet. Since coming back from my summer holidays, a combination of work and pleasure trips around the North of Scotland have highlighted how the energy industry footprint can be seen right across the region. (more…)