Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Karen Dennis Department of Energy & Climate Change

The Marine Energy sector has the potential to make a significant contribution in securing our electricity supply post 2030(50). Over the period 2000–2010, the sector made significant progress. There was a surge of innovative devices which attracted funding from Government bodies as well as private organisations. The sector attracted major players such as Alstom, Siemens, Atlantis and big utility companies. Some of these devices progressed upwards the technology readiness level (TRL) scale and were deployed throughout the UK for testing.

However the global economic downturn coupled with the risks and challenges associated with technology design problems and infrastructure issues, has had a negative impact on the sector. Investors, OEMs and utilities changed focus. The recent news of Pelamis going into administration, the restructuring at Aquamarine and Siemens selling Marine Current Turbines also presents additional challenges for the sector. Nonetheless the sector continues to forge ahead as in summer 2014, it was confirmed that MeyGen Limited had reached financial close on the project to deploy the world’s first tidal array scheme in the Pentland Firth. There is no doubt that the UK has world-class facilities (EMEC, Narec, WaveHub, FaBTest and the testing tanks at University of Edinburgh and Plymouth University) and a rich marine resource. These coupled together with the commitment across Government and Devolved Administrations to support the continuing development of the wave and tidal stream sectors (coordinated by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG)1, and significant levels of secure revenue support in place, the UK remains an attractive location for the development of these technologies.

There has also been development on tidal range, with the proposal for a Swansea Bay tidal lagoon entering the planning process and as in the Autumn Statement 2014; the Government announcing that it has started its commitment to exploring the potential for a future tidal lagoon energy programme in the UK. The Government recognises the potential of the untapped wave and tidal resource in the UK. More so, interest is buoyed by the fact that renewables are a global growth sector and therefore remains committed to its development for the future benefits to the UK economy.

Work is on-going on meeting the objectives of the DECC 2013 Renewable Energy Roadmap which sets out scenarios for meeting our 2020 renewable energy targets. The latest review shows that the UK remains broadly on track to meet these. On marine energy, the focus has been working with the industry to overcome the barriers to deployment; more specifically in getting the first demonstration tidal array project off the ground. This work continues to be delivered via the Marine Energy Programme Board (MEPB), chaired annually by the lead minister for Energy and Climate Change with policy responsibility for wave and tidal stream energy. The work of the MEPB is guided by a bi-monthly Programme Management Group which brings together Government and representatives of the sector. It manages a number of work-streams looking at issues critical to the progress of the sector.

Given the increasing divergence of progress towards commercial deployment of the wave and tidal stream sectors, DECC’s Energy Innovation Policy team is overseeing delivery of an updated “Technology Innovation Needs Assessment” (TINA) for wave energy, on behalf of the LCICG. The TINAs provide a shared evidence base on the potential for cost reduction in each of eleven low carbon technologies and are a valuable tool in prioritising and coordinating innovation support. A TINA for marine energy was last published in 2012 2.

The updated wave energy TINA will enable DECC and other government innovation funders to make effective decisions regarding how the wave sector should be supported in future, based on the potential of the technology in the coming years. A process of industry engagement on the wave energy TINA will start in early 2015. The final TINA is expected to be available later in the year.

A new roadmap developed by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has identified the research and development areas that need to be addressed to make marine energy cost competitive with other energy technologies.

The Marine Energy Technology Roadmap recommends that the marine energy sector should target levelised cost reductions from 20-50p/kWh today to 10-20p/kWh by 2020 and 5-8p/kWh by 2050 in order to encourage continued deployment, and identifies the steps required to deliver these ambitions.
Following renewed interest in tidal range, and particularly tidal lagoons, from developers, the Government announced, in its 2014 Autumn Statement, that the Department of Energy and Climate Change would explore the potential for a future tidal lagoon programme in the UK. The government also announced the start of closer discussions with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to establish whether a potential tidal lagoon project at Swansea Bay is affordable and value for money for consumers (without prejudice to the planning decision on the project). Should the project progress, it could become the first tidal lagoon project in the world.

Tidal Lagoon Power ltd submitted an application for consent to the Planning Inspectorate at the start of the year for a tidal lagoon project located in Swansea Bay. The examination of the planning application is on-going. The development consent decision for the project is anticipated in 2015.

The energetic waters off the Welsh coast are ideal for marine renewable energy projects and the Welsh Government is encouraged by the growing interest in Welsh waters and the partnership approach taken to delivering projects. The Welsh Government is working with developers to ensure that Wales can maximise the benefits and economic potential for our communities from all future operational projects. We are also working to ensure that Wales has the right skills base to support a marine industry in Wales.
Marine technology is still at a pre-commercial development phase and needs significant support from Government.  The Welsh Government is working with the industry, the Crown Estate, Natural Resources Wales and key partners to overcome consenting risks and uncertainties. We also continue our work to streamline the planning system in Wales, which will benefit all future developments including those in the marine energy sector.

Work to progress and finalise Scotland’s marine strategy remains on-going. The Scottish Government remains firmly committed to the continued development of a successful marine renewables energy industry in Scotland. Scotland government bodies have invested over £20m in the MeyGen tidal project, the world’s first tidal stream array, forming a significant part of the funding package (alongside DECC and The Crown Estate funding). Construction of the initial demonstration phase is planned to begin in the Pentland Firth in 2015. Once fully completed, the 269-turbine development could power almost 175,000 homes and support more than 100 jobs in the north of Scotland.
They have also invested £2.8 million the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) to support five innovation projects. These projects, which include a new cable mounted monitoring system and a rock anchor mooring system, will deliver new and better solutions to enable future arrays and reduce the associated costs and risks.

In order to encourage further innovation in wave energy development and in recognition of the need for a revised approach to supporting this emerging technology, the Scottish Government has announced the establishment of Wave Energy Scotland. Wave Energy Scotland will bring together the best engineering and academic minds to collaborate on projects that will accelerate the development of wave technologies.

Scotland continues to work with colleagues throughout the UK and across Europe through their membership on the British-Irish Council (BIC) and the leadership they provide in taking forward the Marine Energy Workstream. Scotland also plays a vital role on the Ocean Energy Forum through its membership of the various steering groups and workstreams. This input is essential in identifying and addressing barriers that prevent the commercialisation of the ocean energy sector.

The two tidal projects in Northern Ireland waters, Tidal Ventures Limited and Fairhead Tidal, continue to work through the survey, research and stakeholder engagement as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment activity for the statutory consents and marine licences. They are also engaging with the NI Authority for Utility Regulation, NI Electricity and the System Operator for NI with regards to grid connection issues. It is expected that these projects will contribute to the Northern Ireland target of 40% renewable electricity consumption by 2020.
During 2014, the Department of the Environment continued work on the development of the first Marine Plan which will deliver better management of Northern Ireland’s marine resources, including marine renewable resources, in a sustainable way. It will set clear objectives and priorities for the future development, management, conservation and use of the marine area.

In July 2014 The Crown Estate (TCE) announced the outcome of its wave and tidal stream leasing process which was held in autumn 2013. Seabed rights were agreed for five new wave and tidal current sites with each having the potential to deliver projects of between 10 and 30 MW. TCE also implemented a new process whereby for the first time, locally based organisations will be able to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers. Under this arrangement, six new wave and tidal stream demonstration zones were allocated. The leasing outcomes are presented in the table below:


In July 2014, the TCE confirmed plans to run a leasing process for tidal range projects. This follows an industry engagement exercise in December 2013 to understand the market interest in future tidal range and lagoon projects around the UK.

The Government is currently considering the process for planning for tidal range generating stations, including decommissioning. The framework for the UK marine licensing regime for activities carried out within the marine environment, such as offshore renewable energy installations is set out in the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. It is implemented by the Marine Management Organisation for England and Wales, Marine Scotland for Scottish waters and the Department of the Environment for Northern Irish waters. Environmental Impact Assessments and, where required, Appropriate Assessments are undertaken for marine energy projects as part of the licensing and consenting process. DECC recently has consulted on proposals to ensure that tidal range and tidal lagoons attached to land are decommissioned brought within the Energy Act 2004 decommissioning regime for offshore renewables satisfactorily. The consultation closed on 24th November 2014 and DECC and is currently considering the responses to the consultation.

Established in 2013, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) ensures that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future. The body brings together the work of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales, as well as some functions of Welsh Government.

Since April 2013, NRW has assumed responsibility for the administration of marine licensing from the Welsh Government’s Marine Consents Unit. The body now process applications for a marine licence under Part 4 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 on behalf of the Welsh Ministers.

The UK Government has implemented one of the most comprehensive systems of support for wave and tidal stream energy in the world through capital and revenue support and a number of research and development initiatives. 2014 saw the biggest change in the electricity market since privatisation with the implementation of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR). Wave and tidal stream technologies received a significant outcome under the EMR compared to other renewable technologies. They were the only technologies to receive a reserved allocation of 100 MW across both the Renewables Obligation (RO) and the contract for difference (CfD) schemes.
This also comes with the highest strike price of any of the renewable technologies at £305/MWh. Both the reserved allocation and strike price are for the duration of the first Delivery Plan period which concludes in 2019.

Invest NI continues to work closely with companies active in the marine energy market to develop their capability to contribute to the supply chain. Invest NI is also supporting a number of collaborative network proposals aimed at the renewable supply chain, including marine energy.

Northern Ireland was the location for the very successful Renewable UK Wave & Tidal Exhibition & Conference in late February 2014, attracting 50 exhibiting companies an audience of over 400 industry delegates. The event was preceded by an MEPB meeting, SI Ocean project workshop and industry networking. 

Through cooperation with colleagues in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Northern Ireland based businesses were supported in having a presence at the 5th International Conference on Ocean Energy in Nova Scotia in November 2014, hosted by Marine Renewables Canada in partnership with the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia and the offshore Energy Research Association. A number of Northern Ireland based businesses presented within the conference programme.

The main source for information on opportunities to access Research and Development funding for marine energy and other renewables continues to be through the Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network ( Information from the main organisations can be found at the links included below:
  • The Research Councils UK Energy Programme provides funding for basic strategic and applied research into a wide range of technology areas:
  • Innovate UK formerly the Technology Strategy Board supports medium-size research and development projects using technology-specific research calls:
  • The Energy Technologies Institute is a public-private partnership that invests in developing full-system solutions to long term energy challenges: 
  • The Carbon Trust offers a wide range of support for low carbon innovation mainly in the pre-market arena:

Other sources of public funding with scope to support research and development in the marine energy space are:

The Welsh Government invested £1M in developing the Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework
(MRESF). MRESF, launched in 2011, assessed the available wave and tidal resource within Welsh waters within a sustainable framework and it provides developers with an online mapping tool. Developers are able to use MRESF to obtain information on our key resource areas and potential development constraints. Unlike other marine spatial planning tools, the MRESF does not treat Natura 2000 sites (European designated sites of conservation importance) as hard constraints, and to ensure we understand the interactions between marine energy devices and the environment we adopt, where possible, a deploy and monitoring approach to marine licensing.
The Welsh Government is conducting a reviewing of MRESF to ensure the baseline data used, and the evidence it provides to developers, continues to be fit for purpose.


The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is still the only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy in the world, suitable for testing 14 full-scale devices simultaneously in some of the harshest weather conditions while producing electricity to the national grid through the company’s infrastructure. All monies generated by the sale of electricity are fed back to the developers, increasing the funds for future industry investment. 
EMEC’s test sites attract developers from all around the globe: to date more devices have been tested at EMEC than any other single site in the world. These developers use the facilities to prove what is achievable in some of the harshest marine environments, whilst in close proximity to sheltered waters and harbours. In 2014, 12 developers tested devices at EMEC. Several wave and tidal developers continued their grid-connected test programmes on EMEC’s Billia Croo and Fall of Warness sites. Nautricity successfully deployed their CoRMaT tidal turbine at EMEC’s non grid-connected Shapinsay Sound site in May, and Magallanes (funded by the EU MaRINET project) deployed their floating tidal turbine on the same site in November.
In addition to EMEC’s establish test sites, EMEC was awarded further rights to areas of seabed in Harris,
Islay and Orkney by The Crown Estate. Awarding rights to these zones will enable EMEC to manage the seabed in conjunction with its local partners and sub-let areas of seabed for developers to progress projects. EMEC has also been awarded seabed rights to progress a tidal stream project in the Stronsay Firth in Orkney. 

To start the journey towards development in these areas, EMEC has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the West Harris Trust alongside Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and the Islay Energy Trust. The respective organisations will collaborate to manage the Harris Wave Demonstration Zone and Islay Tidal Demonstration Zone in consortia acting as ‘Third Party Managers’ for their individual sites.
Accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), EMEC operates to relevant test laboratory standards, enabling the Centre to provide another unique service - independently verified
performance reports.

EMEC has also been approved as an assessor under the EU’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) scheme and will be checking claims about the performance of innovative environmental technologies. It has expanded its scope of accreditation attaining the International Standard ISO/IEC 17020 for verification of new environmental technologies.
The Scottish Government awarded a share of the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) to EMEC to support further development of an Integrated Measurement Platform – a seabed ‘pod’ designed to measure a variety of parameters in tidal flows, such as at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site, off the island of Eday, in Orkney. Following development in 2014, the EMEC-IMP will be deployed in early 2015. 

In March, EMEC hosted a workshop to review the existing suite of marine renewable energy standards and identify areas where new standards require to be developed. The report from the workshop produced in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is available to read online:
Funded by The Crown Estate, EMEC has been reviewing the reliability of our subsea cables throughout the year to help inform on the performance of subsea cabling in high energy environments. The report will be published in early 2015.
The Orkney Vessel Trials project, which has been facilitated by Orkney consultancy Aquatera Ltd, in association with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), demonstrated the potential for considerable cost savings using the capabilities of smaller support vessels in the marine renewables industry. The report is available to download here (Press release: Orkney vessel trials demonstrate cost savings for marine energy).
On 3 June 2014 EMEC hosted the first EU Energy Day dedicated to ocean energy in partnership with Ocean Energy Europe, the trade association for ocean renewables in Europe. At the Orkney Ocean Energy Day, as part of the EU’s Sustainable Energy Week calendar of events, representatives from the European Commission, technology companies from across Europe, and local residents visited sites around Orkney to share understanding of how the industry has developed to this point and what is required to take it further. Photos and videos:
Bringing together operational and planned test sites from around the world for the second time, the EMEC and FORCE (the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy) jointly hosted a discussion forum for international open-water test centres in Halifax, Canada, in association with the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE). The event built on EMEC’s Global Ocean Energy symposium held in Orkney, Scotland, in 2013, which created a global network focused on collaborative opportunities for test centres in support of the developing ocean energy industry.

WaveHub Test Site
Wave Hub is a pre-installed grid connected site approximately 10 nautical miles (16km) off the north coast of Cornwall for the testing of large scale offshore renewable energy devices. The site has a Section 36 electricity consent and holds a 25 year lease for 8 kms2 of seabed divided into four separate berths. Wave Hub is owned  by the UK Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and operated by Wave Hub Limited on its behalf.
The priority in 2014 has been to secure customers for all four of the Wave Hub berths. The three successful wave energy developers are UK based Seatricity Ltd, the Finnish utility company Fortum Oyj and the Australian wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy. Seatricity installed the first wave device at the site during the summer. The Finnish multi-national utilities firm Fortum signed an agreement to secure a berth to test and evaluate wave devices for a wave energy array project and Carnegie Wave Energy secured the final berth to deploy a 3 MW array of its next generation 1 MW CETO 6 technology in 2016, with the option to expand to 10 MW. Work is progressing with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Glosten Associates to enable deployment of the PelaStar 6MW floating offshore wind platform.
Further, the substation upgrade to enable operation at both 11 kV and 33 kV was successfully completed, a new connection agreement from Western Power Distribution was secured and the Environmental Statement was reviewed. Finally, a new five year business plan has been prepared, which includes plans for taking forward the three Demonstration Zone seabed leases secured from The Crown Estate in Pembrokeshire (wave), North Devon (tidal) and North Cornwall (wave).

The Falmouth Bay Test (FaBTest) Site 
FaBTest has been operating as a non-grid connected commissioning site for marine renewable energy devices since November 2011. The site is leased from The Crown Estate and has a Marine Consent for testing, subject to permits issued by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners. Operational support for the site, as well as on-going monitoring and world leading research, is provided by the Renewable Energy Group from the University of Exeter, based on the nearby Penryn campus.
The University contribution is made possible in part thanks to an investment of Regional Growth Fund money. The RGF investment of £549,000 into FaBTest was approved by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The LEP recognised FaBTest as a key investment priority and a unique asset which can create economic benefits and market opportunities. The Regional Growth Fund is managed locally by Cornwall Development Company on behalf of the LEP and Cornwall Council. The University of Exeter uses the site for on-going work around resource characterisation and environmental monitoring, as well as using it to contribute to pioneering research into reliability engineering, which is focussed on the nearby South West Moorings Test Facility (SWMTF) and the  Dynamic Marine Component (DMaC) rig.
The FaBTest site is pre-consented to accommodate renewable energy devices which fit within a defined ‘Rochdale envelope’, greatly reducing the risk, cost and time for developers looking to bring a device to scale tests in sea conditions. The near shore location eases real time monitoring communications, access for inspection and repair, along with proximity to dockyard facilities for fabrication and refit. The devices currently pre-consented are wave energy converters (broadly defined by a range of size constraints), guarded underwater turbines and umbilicals/components. Negotiations are progressing to extend the lease and licence to also accommodate floating wind devices.
The Fred Olsen Lifesaver device was deployed and tested between March 2012 and June 2014, before undergoing a refit ahead of a grid connected deployment elsewhere. There are further deployments expected in 2015/16 and a plug and play data communication system will be in place for these devices to access, further reducing cost to early stage developers.
1 Core members of the LCICG are BIS, DECC, ETI, TSB, EPSRC, Carbon Trust, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. Associate members
include Ofgem, DfT, the Crown Estate, UKTI, CLG, MoD, Defra and the Wales and NI Governments.
2 2012 -