Some of Scotland's marine energy leaders will be visiting New Zealand next month to share their experiences as part of the Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association’s annual conference.
Scotland is a world leader in marine energy as a result of widespread political support from local councils, regional and national governments, and several of its industry representatives will be among at least 11 international visitors registered to attend.
Executive director of AWATEA, Dr John Huckerby, says Scotland has much to pass on that will help New Zealand’s nascent industry.
“The Orkney Islands, for example, to the north of the Scottish mainland, have some of the world’s best tidal and wave energy resources, and there are plans to install over 1000 wave and tidal turbines there over the next decade. The European Marine Energy Centre on the Orkney Islands currently has 4 wave machines, 4 tidal turbines and 2 half-scale turbines in the water.
“Orkney now boasts a burgeoning support industry with several new purpose-built vessels and the development of port infrastructure in the world-renowned Scapa Flow and surrounding region,” he says.
“And at the heart of all this development is the world’s only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy, suitable for testing 19 devices simultaneously in some of the harshest sea conditions, while at the same time exporting power to the Scottish grid.”
He said a testing centre was an idea New Zealand should explore further.
"We also have some of the world’s best marine energy resources, and we will need this form of renewable energy sooner rather than later.”
The AWATEA conference will also showcase some of the active marine energy projects in New Zealand and Ph.D. research being undertaken here.
The conference and workshops will be held at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington from April 19-20.