EMEC signs agreement to support marine energy development in China

A memorandum of understanding signed by the European Marine Energy Centre and several Chinese entities will support the development of a marine energy test site near Qingdao.

The agreement, reached during an annual summit of United Kingdom and Chinese government, business and academic leaders, also includes signatures from the University of Edinburgh, the Ocean University of China, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and the Qingdao Songling Power Environmental Equipment Company.

“Scotland and China have a common interest to support the global development of marine energy technologies,” EMEC Commercial Director Oliver Wragg said. “As the first test center of its kind, EMEC has endured some steep learning curves during its development, and we see no point in other countries having to reinvent the wheel.”

EMEC has now overseen more than 1,000 marine energy activities at its test site in Orkney, Scotland, according to Wragg, giving it a unique ability to provide expertise in device deployment, grid connectivity, cable laying, data collection and monitoring.

“We have many experiences to share with our Chinese counterparts that can make their journey a great deal smoother,” Wragg said. “And by working together, we can help open up markets across the world for wave and tidal energy technologies currently in development.”

The partnership will help China jumpstart its ocean power sector, officials said.

“Marine renewable energy6 in China has the potential for a brilliant future, but we have a long way to go,” said Hongda Shi, professor at the Ocean University of China. “The shortcut for development is to cooperate with the countries who have advanced technology and abundant experience. Scotland is no doubt such a country, and EMEC is the leader of the domain.”

The partnership is not EMEC’s first in Asia, which announced a similar agreement with marine energy developers in Japan in April and Taiwan in 2012.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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