The Crown Estate, Marine Scotland and Welsh Government have teamed up to fund Aquatera Ltd and their delivery partners to run the secretariat role for a new offshore Ocean Energy joint industry programme.
Building upon the model developed by the joint industry programme for Offshore Wind, the new programme will bring industry, regulators, funders and researchers together so that the wave and tidal energy sectors’ consenting risks can be addressed in a strategic and co-ordinated manner, avoiding duplication of efforts and in turn leading to a reduction in delay to projects.
Whilst Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) Offshore Wind and ORJIP Ocean Energy will be managed separately, there will be knowledge sharing between the different sectors.
The aim is that ORJIP Ocean Energy will work by:
• helping organisations whose role it is to fund and manage research to do so efficiently and effectively by bringing together knowledge and expertise on needs and practicalities from industry, regulators and the wider sector;
• making this knowledge available in a way that can be readily understood and acted upon;
• providing a funded Secretariat to co-ordinate creating and sharing the information and encourage action; and
• supporting project developers by co-ordinating research and monitoring to ultimately assist with commercialisation.
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‘A vital part of a low carbon future’
Carl Sargeant, Welsh Government Minister for Natural Resources said: ‘Ocean Energy, be it tidal or wave based, forms a vital part of the energy mix and is something which we are committed to maximising as we work towards a low carbon future for Wales.
‘By working together, this partnership can address many of the environmental issues faced by developers and regulators across the UK.
‘This will result in a fairer, safer and more effective system for all and will speed up the consent process for marine renewable projects.’
Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Scottish Government said: ‘This new joint industry programme demonstrates Scotland’s commitment to work with the wave and tidal sectors, national and international partners, to enable the successful and sustainable development of the marine renewable energy industry.’
Ronnie Quinn, Head of Ocean Energy at The Crown Estate, said: ‘As manager of the UK seabed, we recognise the benefits of industry and partners working more effectively together to overcome common challenges to help unlock the UK’s significant tidal and wave energy resources.
‘By taking a more strategic approach through the ORJIP for Ocean Energy to de-risking the consent process and sharing learning across industry, we can help support progress towards commercial-scale projects.’
Aquatera have been appointed to run the Secretariat role for ORJIP Ocean Energy with delivery partners MarineSpace and European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
Ian Hutchison, senior consultant at Aquatera Ltd, said: ‘Through active engagement with industry, regulators, academia and other key stakeholders around the world, ORJIP Ocean Energy will play a pivotal role in ensuring that a strategic and coordinated approach is taken to addressing the key consenting risks facing the wave and tidal energy sectors, reducing risk for future arrays.’
How will it work?
ORJIP Ocean Energy will have two workstreams within it, to cover wave and tidal separately. This aims to ensure the industries’ different issues, timescales, needs and approaches are recognised and dealt with appropriately, whilst also ensuring that the similarities and opportunities for joint working are realised.