The UK’s expertise in wave and tidal energy is being showcased at the Ocean Renewables Energy Group 2012 annual conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Attendees have gathered at the conference to share best practices, foster further collaboration and catalyse the growing global industry focused on harnessing clean, renewable energy from ocean waves and tides.
The UK’s huge natural resource of marine energy has positioned the country at the forefront of developing and implementing wave and tidal energy technologies. Canada is looking to exploit the UK’s knowledge and foster closer ties with the UK.
Gordon Campbell, High Commissioner of Canada to the UK, said:
“To stay on the cutting edge of development, Canada needs partners such as the UK to help bring these innovative technologies into everyday use. We are fully committed to doing what it takes to help this exciting industry flourish.
“Canada has the potential to provide about a quarter of the total electricity we use from marine resources, making our country a superpower in generating this unique type of renewable energy.”
Dave Pratt, Director of Glasgow tidal power turbine firm Nautricity, said that the UK’s long history in the ocean energy sector, paired with its global leadership in testing, is an important component in scaling up the use of the resource globally.
Addressing the strong ties in marine energy between the UK and Canada, Pratt said:
“Similar to the UK, Canada’s ambitious government policies and strong research capabilities have made them ideal partners in advancing this nascent ocean power industry.”
Nautricity is one of several UK companies and academic institutions currently working in Canada to develop the region’s ocean power industry. The company is currently working with private partners, research institutions and the public sector on several tidal energy prospects, on both coasts.
Cooperation between the UK and Canada is also taking place at a policy level, as both countries recognise the mutual benefits and overlaps in experience in ocean energy.
A joint declaration issued in September 2011 by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called out ocean energy specifically, citing the two countries’ commitment to, “encourage the development of technology systems necessary for commercial-scale electricity production from marine energy.”
Michael Rosenfeld, UK Trade & Investment, said:
“The UK-Canada partnership in marine energy is an important piece of a larger effort by both countries to foster cross-sector growth in sustainability and low carbon technologies and services.
“The success of these partnerships is largely due to both countries’ long-term commitment to building a green economy.”
The European Marine Energy Centre, based in Orkney, Scotland, and the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (OREG), based in Nova Scotia, collaborate on essential research for the development of ocean energy including environmental assessments and submarine cable deployment.
“OREG is a prime venue for the UK to showcase its expertise in ocean energy, and for British companies and research institutions to continue to build relationships and expand collaboration in Canada and throughout North America,” Rosenfeld added.