Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Karen Dennis Department of Energy & Climate Change



Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government. Public sector representation is through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with funding channelled through Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The  Department of Energy and Climate Change are observers on the Board. The major ETI projects are:

Tidal Energy Converter Phase 2: The ETI launched the Tidal Energy Converter Phase 2 in May 2014 to design, build and test a multi-turbine foundation structure. Two 1.5 MW turbines will be installed on the structure at the Atlantis owned MeyGen tidal stream array in Pentland Firth, Scotland, increasing the rated capacity of the tidal array from 6 MW to 9 MW (enough to power 4,500 local homes). Atlantis are developing a patentpending innovative and cost effective turbine foundation design, commencing with the detailed design, fabrication and installation of the structure and its associated technologies. Atlantis will be responsible for the turbine supply and electrical connection to the local grid. 

ReDAPT: The ETI’s ReDAPT (Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal) has been successfully installed and is running at EMEC. The 1 MW turbine has reached the full nominal power and has generated over 1000 MWh of electricity to the grid. Testing and collection of operational data will continue until the end of 2014. With an ETI investment of £12.6m, the project involves Alstom, E.ON, EDF, DNV GL, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), EMEC and the University of Edinburgh.

Other ETI marine projects include:

  • The PerAWAT (Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array Systems) project has validated numerical models to predict the hydrodynamic performance of wave & tidal energy converters operating in arrays and hence reduce design uncertainty. Using data and findings from this project member DNV GL were able to release the commercial wave device design tool – WaveDyn in 2012 and released array design tools Tidal Farmer and Wave farmer in 2014. This project also informs work within the DTOcean collaborative programme on array designs.
  • The Tidal Resource Modelling project which has developed a hydrodynamic model of the entire tidal resource around the UK is now available to the public under the commercial name SMART Tide and is accessible through a web interface via a Fee-For-Service managed by HR Wallingford (
  • The Wave Energy Converter (WEC) System Demonstrator Project finished in 2014, and aimed to accelerate the development and commercialisation of WEC systems.

Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board, it is the UK’s innovate agency. It funds, supports and connects innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth. In collaboration with the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia, Innovate UK has developed a funding competition for the in-stream tidal energy sector to encourage joined up research focus, reduce duplication of effort and provide opportunity in new markets for UK companies. The two organisations are jointly investing approximately £750,000 on collaborative R&D projects to develop enhanced sensing technologies for tidal stream energy applications. The funding is aimed at projects which advance tidal technologies by improving data analysis, collection methods and acquisition of better data to facilitate in the reduction of risk, uncertainty and cost. The first stage application closed in November 2014 with projects expected to start in the summer of 2015.

Innovate UK is a delivery partner and consortium member of the Ocean Energy ERA-NET (OceanERA-NET), which is a network of 16 national and regional funders and managers of research and innovation programmes from 9 European countries. The objective of OceanERA-NET is to coordinate funding programmes among European countries and regions to support research and innovation in the ocean energy sector, which covers tidal, wave, ocean thermal and salinity gradient technologies. The OceanERA-NET project has launched its first funding call in 2014, which closes for applications in December 2014. Innovate UK is a funding partner on this call.

Innovate UK also continued with dissemination of its 2012 Marine Energy: Supporting Array Technologies (MESAT) programme with an event held in November 2014 to update the industry on the progress of the projects. Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise invested about £6m in 6 projects aiming to develop technologies to support wave and tidal arrays under its MESAT programme. Presentations from this event are available here.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult)
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult became operational in 2013. It was established by Innovate UK (at the time the UK Technology Strategy Board) to accelerate the development of innovative technology that will lead to cost reductions in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors. It is one of seven Catapult centres that have been set up to bridge the gap between research and commercialisation in the UK. By analysing and prioritising industry issues and by active involvement in current research developments, the ORE Catapult will initiate programmes to accelerate the development of innovative engineering solutions. In May 2014 the ORE Catapult merged with the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). The ORE Catapult now offers an integrated engineering, research and testing capability for the offshore renewable energy sector. Facilities include powertrain testing, still water docks, simulated seabed, component testing, high voltage laboratory and wind turbine blade testing. The major ORE Catapult projects are:

Tidal Projects

Marine Farm Accelerator (MFA):
Established by the ORE Catapult with project management services provided by the Carbon Trust. The MFA is built around a steering group of tidal project developers and has established Technical Working Groups on Yield and Electrical Systems as well as a Device Advisory Group (DAG) of fourteen wave and tidal device developers who provide advice and guidance into MFA projects. Six work streams have now been identified covering Energy Yield, O&M, Site Characterisation, Electrical Systems, Installation and Insurance.

Tidal Energy Converter Cost Reduction via Power Take- Off Optimisation (TIDAL-EC):
ORE Catapult is the project coordinator of a €1.3million EU FP7 funded project involving seven consortium partners from five European countries. Partners include Minesto, Sintef, Fibersensing, University of Edinburgh, Tocardo, and Ocean Flow Energy. The two year project which commenced in September 2014 will conduct vital research and design evaluation activities to determine the optimum design of a tidal energy converter power take-off system and permanent magnet generator - two of the largest and most critical components of any mainstream tidal energy device. The project proposes to develop an optimised system that will improve reliability, increase power conversion efficiency and facilitate reduction in the cost of tidal power. 

Testing and demonstration - MCT 1MW powertrain test: In June 2014, ORE Catapult completed a multiaxis onshore endurance test programme on Siemens-owned Marine Current Turbines’ (MCT) first 1 MW powertrain (gearbox, generator and power conditioning equipment) using the 3 MW tidal turbine nacelle testing facility in Blyth, Northumberland. During the 11 month test programme the 1 MW turbine was exposed to the full range of power output and aggressive loadings the device would experience subsea, securing performance data equivalent to over 18 years of operation in some of the world’s harshest tidal cycles.

Scottish Enterprise Tidal Energy Array Cabling Solution Development Project: ORE Catapult in collaboration with IHC Engineering Business, Tekmar and OceanFlow Energy undertook an exercise funded by Scottish Enterprise with the aim of overcoming the technical challenges experienced with subsea inter-array cabling, such as, securing, protecting and recovering the electrical cables required to take the power generated from a number of tidal energy devices deployed in high tidal flow areas to shore based infrastructure. This project was an important step in the path to commercialisation for the marine energy industry in Scotland, a sub-sector that has been prioritised by Scottish Enterprise in its efforts to realise the economic potential of the renewables industry.

Wave Projects

Wave Technology Assessment: The ORE Catapult has developed a wave technology assessment process that ensures winning technologies can be identified early and poor concepts can be confidently ruled out. The technology assessment process which will continue to be refined in 2015 can be used to make assessments at concept, scale prototype and full scale stages. The process considers power performance, structural design, operations and maintenance (O&M) strategy and economic feasibility. Marine Farm Accelerator Device Advisory Group: This forum brings together the UKs leading wave device developers to identify collaborative projects to address generic technical innovation problems and identify solutions to cross cutting issues such as support vessels, foundation, connectors, and cabling.

Cross cutting Projects

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs): The ORE Catapult is working with nine LEPs across England to explore marine energy strategic economic priorities and identify where collaboration with the ORE Catapult would add value to each region.

Marine Energy Supply Chain Model: Delivery in mid- 2015 of a publically accessible model of the UK marine energy supply chain, linking up regional data bases to provide knowledge and support diversification into the marine sector.

Use of composites in Marine Energy: A collaborative project with the National Composite Centre, part of the High value Manufacturing Catapult to look at alternatives materials for offshore wind, wave and tidal structures and devices reporting in late 2015.

Environmental Monitoring: A portfolio of projects initiated in 2015 to reduce the risk in Environmental Impact Assessment and monitoring through development of proven sensor technology and standardised deployment, integration and data analysis techniques.

Knowledge Management

Wave & Tidal Knowledge Network (WTKN): On-going development of the WTKN established by The Crown Estate to encourage and grow industry knowledge sharing.

The Welsh European Funding Office is the Managing Authority for Structural Funds in Wales. The European Commission recently approved the £1.1 billion European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes. The fund will help drive research and innovation, SME competitiveness and business finance, renewable energy and energy efficiency infrastructure.

Two marine energy projects have already been identified for support, namely the wave demonstration zone off Pembrokeshire, and the tidal demonstration zone off the coast of Anglesey. It is likely that ERDF support will be used to ensure that a complete, generic Environmental Impact Assessment is undertaken for each zone, as well as the installation of relevant infrastructure for the connection solution from the zone to the grid, as The Crown Estate’s leases are already in place. By doing this, developers are being attracted to the zones as the costs and risks to them as individual operations are being vastly reduced. There continues to be a very healthy pipeline of marine energy proposals for Welsh waters looking for ERDF support.


The Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) CASE celebrated its first year of Invest Northern Ireland funding through the Competence Centre programme. This industry-led enterprise – the latest in a series of new Competence Centres funded by Invest NI to rapidly transform research into commercial success - has been drawing upon the research capabilities of Queens University Belfast (QUB), Ulster University and the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI). 2014 saw the completion of the first project in wave and tidal technologies under the CASE umbrella; testing of 1/10th scale tidal turbines in tandem formation in Montgomery Lake and Strangford Lough with 5 companies collaborating on this project. This is the first time that testing of more than one turbine at this scale has happened anywhere in the world and results will be used to inform the development of larger scale commercial arrays of turbines, such as those proposed off the North Antrim coast.

Two further projects currently underway in this area are a Tension Pile Foundations project led by McLaughlin and Harvey which involves detailed data analysis and testing of a scaled version of the foundation prototype and Triple T2, a follow on to the tidal turbine project referred to above using a single Schottel turbine with four work packages covering guidelines for data analysis, the effect of turbulence on turbine performance, facilitation of comparative analysis between lake, tank and real sea tests and dissemination.

Other Support – R&D Projects Funded by the European Union. In October 2014, marine energy companies Minesto and Atlantis Resources Ltd were awarded €750,000 from the Eurostars Programme, funded by the European Union. The funding was awarded to reduce the cost of tidal energy and is a unique collaboration between two different marine energy developers. The funds will be used to reduce the cost of tidal power plants by creating cost effective high reliability tidal turbine blades and wings of composite materials.