‘Scotland is a place of fantastic natural resource’
By Elva Bannon, Senior Research Engineer at Wave Energy Scotland (WES).
Scotland has a heritage as a maritime nation, and also of invention that has shaped the modern world; it was only a matter of time before this expertise was turned to the extensive natural resources along the coast.
It has been a focal point for marine energy for decades, through the oil and gas deposits of the North Sea to current innovations in renewable energy. Wind, tidal and wave energy projects in Scotland have been gaining attention the world over for their ability to push technology and achieve world firsts.
With its extensive Atlantic coastline, Scotland has some of the world’s best wave and tidal energy resources, and there is an opportunity to develop technologies to harness this energy thus creating a strong sector which will bring both jobs and clean energy.
Modern wave energy research can find some of its roots through world-renowned research facilities and testing infrastructure, including work at the University of Edinburgh, with the efforts of distinguished Professor Stephen Salter well known to anyone studying the topic. Work undertaken at the University in the 1970s still sits as a foundation of today’s developments. The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney has tested more wave and tidal devices than anyone else in the world.
This history, coupled with a strong government commitment to develop the sector, led to the establishment of Wave Energy Scotland in 2014, bringing renewed focus to wave technology research and development. Through the WES programme we have seen new collaborations, new technologies and new companies set up here, showing Scotland’s continued dominance for renewable energy R&D.
Encouraging conferences and events to be held here helps to showcase the passion of the people working within the sector, from academics and funding bodies to technology developed and investors. These events have welcomed researchers from across the world, keen to surround themselves with like-minded organisations pushing for a cleaner brighter future for us all.
International collaboration is essential for success in such an innovative sector, and conferences and events are excellent places to help build these relationships. Europe and the USA are working together, with influence from organisations in Scotland, to ensure we are tackling these challenges in a coordinated way.
Creating devices that can withstand the 20 years at sea, while generating electricity that can help to power the world cleanly & efficiently is an incredible challenge, but one which has captured the imagination of a talented & determined group of people who are working hard collectively to fundamentally improve the way we power our lives. Wave Energy Scotland is helping companies engineer the future of renewable energy technology. Scotland is a place of fantastic natural resource, of innovation and invention. It is where ideas become legend.
Hear from Elva Bannon, Senior Research Engineer at Wave Energy Scotland, on Scotland’s pioneering engineering sector and how our research facilities, test centres and companies have been at the forefront of wave energy technology for decades.