Marine energy - pioneering a low carbon future

Supplementary content information

An introduction to the Energy Programme, and how it is helping the transition to a low-carbon economy. This excerpt looks at marine energy.

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Professor Ian Bryden – University of Edinburgh [IB]

Where we are now with marine renewable energy is that we have full scale prototype devices in the sea, many of these are actually now generating electricity into the grids so we have seen enormous steps in the last two to three years.

Professor Robin Wallace – University of Edinburgh [RW]

Marine Energy can make significant contribution within the renewable energy mix because we have some of the most exciting, highest and most accessible wave and tidal energy resources in the world.

[IB]

Marine energy, I believe, will make a significant contribution to the energy mix for the United Kingdom in excess of ten per cent of the electricity supply and could be as much as 25 per cent.

[RW]

The potential is very significant not just in terms of energy production, but also in terms of wealth creation and intellectual capacity building.

[Researcher describes to colleague what is happening with the machine]

OK, so what we’re going to do is shut down the regular simple sea that we’re running just now and we’ll load up a more complex and realistic sea state.

[RW]

The UK universities, particularly through the SUPERGEN programme, are training the next generation of scientists and engineers to step into the industry to meet the challenges of 2020 and 2050.

[IB]

If we are to contribute 10-25 per cent of the electricity supply we need to develop new systems that can operate in a more robust manner than the prototypes that we are seeing at the moment. To be able to do that we need to be able to draw upon present research and future research.

[RW]

The UK leads the world in terms of marine energy R&D and we have to maintain that position. There is an opportunity now to establish an industry that will operate in the UK, European and worldwide markets that will be able to develop a clean lower carbon energy source from the sea for the future.