China craves EMEC’s tidal and wave knowledge

Group photo from Aoshan Forum in Qingdao (Photo: EMEC)

EMEC’s and other UK tidal and wave energy industry experts have visited China to support the creation of marine renewable energy test center in eastern part of the country.

The project involves the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) providing feasibility studies around the creation of a Chinese version of EMEC, called CMEC, as part of a brand new £200 million (2 billion yuan) marine laboratory campus in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.

Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology will serve as the base for the project, drawing researchers from a number of Chinese universities, while the ocean energy demonstration site has already been identified as a key aspect of the lab’s innovation activities, EMEC informed.

Also, the Prosperity Fund project, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and China Britain Business Council (CBBC), was set up to help progress policy support in China towards developing a demonstration site to facilitate innovation in wave and tidal energy.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director visited the new lab in Qingdao this month to take part in a workshop following the one held in Orkney last October as part of the Aoshan Forum.

Kermode said: “We’ve been met with a real appetite in China to learn from the experience gained over the last decade at EMEC, and we’re keen to continue building collaborative R&D and innovation links between the UK and China to help drive the development of ocean energy on a global scale.

“The maritime capabilities in and around Qingdao are astonishing, and China has a very strong stance on tackling climate change. Combined, this makes marine energy an interesting and important endeavor for their researchers. We met several academics who are already developing technologies and the new laboratory campus in Qingdao gives them a perfect base from which to progress their innovations.”

Last week, China has revealed plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($363 billion) in renewable energy by 2020, with around 3 billion yuan set aside to support tidal and geothermal energy sources.

James Brodie, Director of Energy at CBBC, added: “With the inclusion of marine energy in China’s 13th Five Year Plan, and ambitious targets, it’s an emerging sector that the country would clearly like to see developed rapidly but significant gaps remain in their innovation infrastructure to make this a reality. As the world leader in marine energy, the UK is in a fantastic position to support and benefit from this development by engaging at an early but crucial stage.”

A third workshop focusing on wider commercial dialogue between the UK marine energy supply chain and China will take place between February 15-17, 2017.

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