EMEC director honored for renewable energy contributions

Scottish Renewables has awarded Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), with an award for the “Outstanding Contribution” to the renewable energy industry during a recent ceremony.

The honor, presented at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, recognizes Kermode for his role in developing EMEC into one of the world’s premier marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) research centers.

The award is sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and honors individuals or organizations that have made an “exceptional contribution to the success of the renewables industry”.

“I was truly amazed and stunned to receive this award,” Kermode said. “It is all very well to believe you are doing the right things, but to receive such a public affirmation and unexpected endorsement is deeply moving.”

Kermode has been head of EMEC since 2005, during which time the center has experienced significant growth.

EMEC was founded 10 years ago with an initial four-berth wave test site. Now, the facility includes six wave berth, eight tidal test sites, and two scale test sites for smaller scale device, component and technique testing. EMEC’s staff has also increased from four to 24 employees under Kermode.

“In the history of technology, the 10 short years we have been at this is the blink of an eye,” Kermode said. “Many industries never get this far this fast, so it is also important to pay tribute to those who had the timely vision to set up EMEC and to thank everybody for the unrelenting support we have had so far, and to thank you for the support I know we will enjoy in the future.”

EMEC’s success has made the center an international leader in MHK research, leading to recent collaborations with groups from France, England and Thailand.

“Creating a new global industry takes investment, ingenuity, innovation and a focus on the long-term from across the public, private and academic sectors,” said Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise. “Yet above it all it takes the kind of dedicated and powerful leadership shown by Neil over the years.”

Kermode, who was also recently admitted as a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, is active outside his role with EMEC in promoting MHK power worldwide.

His other roles include Vice Chair of the Saltire Committee and Chair of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF).

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