Speaking at the inaugural Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC-2012) on Jeju Island, Korea, EMEC’s commercial director Richard Morris announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between EMEC and the National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU), the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and an Orkney based consultancy company, Aquatera.
This partnership adds to EMEC’s reach across continental Asia, having signed similar agreements with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan, Ocean University of China, and Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea over the past year.
With areas of excellent wave and tidal resources, Asia is keen to capitalise on the potential that marine renewables offer, and the first AWTEC exemplified the importance and need for greater international co-operation.
Commenting on the announcement, First Minister for Scotland Alex Salmond said: "I welcome the news that the European Marine Energy Centre has signed a major international collaboration that will build on existing relationships between Scotland and Taiwan in the development of marine renewables.
"This memorandum will see the expertise of two Orcadian companies used to help develop a demonstration site for wave and tidal power in Taiwan. Scotland is leading the way in the development of renewable energy technology. Agreements such as this show that the skills and knowledge of our engineers and companies are in demand across the globe as the world moves to a low carbon future."
EMEC’s commercial director, Richard Morris said: “EMEC are very pleased to be supporting Taiwan in their move towards utilising marine renewable energy. The building of a demonstration site to further the excellent work being done by ITRI and NTOU is part of the increasing amount of consulting work that EMEC is undertaking. The knowledge that we have amassed and the skills acquired, allow us a unique insight as to what is feasible and achievable.
“Great insight has been shown by the public sector throughout EMEC’s development, and as the centre approaches its tenth birthday next year, the fact that Scotland is already exporting its unrivalled expertise demonstrates that the initial public investment is paying off, and to a greater extent than what could have ever been expected.”
ITRI are developing a point absorber wave energy converter which has been tested near NTOU, located near the northeast corner of Taiwan. The area hosts the country’s most abundant wave energy resources, with strong tidal currents nearby as well.
Sheng-Chung Lo, manager of the Ocean Energy Technology Department, ITRI said: "Taiwan has set a marine energy power generation target to reach 200MW by 2025, and really needs a marine energy test site to serve local and international marine energy developer’s needs.
“Taiwan is pleased to be utilising EMEC's know-how to set up a marine energy test site which will add to the experience that Aquatera and ITRI have from four years of co-operation. The signing of the four-way MOU will ensure the establishment of a marine energy test site that is best suited for Taiwan and helps Taiwan's marine energy development."