European Ocean Energy Association Conference in Edinburgh Today

By Melissa Steel

The European Ocean Energy Association (EUOEA) Conference continues today at the Our Dynamic Earth venue in Edinburgh.

The conference brings together politicians and industry members to discuss the future of ocean energy. Also known as wave and tidal, ocean energy involves harnessing the power of waves and the tide to create electricity and pump or purify water. Speakers today at the second and final day of the conference include First Minister Alex Salmond and Simon Christian, UK Managing Director, ScottishPower Renewables.

Today began with Salmond delivering a keynote speech. The EUOEA tweeted that the First Minister said “Once commercial viability is achieved, renewables take off very quickly.”

Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker spoke after the First Minister this morning. He said he wanted to “reaffirm the UK government’s long term commitment to ocean energy” and that “we must grasp the huge opportunity for abundant clean energy that geography and tech innovation can deliver”.

The day will proceed with a discussion of how ocean energy can take on other energy sectors in the future, led by speakers Beatrice Coda of the European Commission’s DG CLIMA initiative, Steve Wyatt, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust and Rob Stevenson, a Policy Director.

Later on there will be a panel on the financial challenges the industry faces. Emmanuel Brochard, Director of Business Development, DCNS Ocean Energy and Oliver Wragg, Business Development and Project Manager at Atlantis Resources will be among those to take to the stage at this time.

The final panel event of the day is ‘Member States: Financial and Strategic Support Models’, a look at how different countries approach ocean energy. John Callaghan, Wave and Tidal Programme Manager of The Crown Estate, is one prominent contributor to this discussion.

European Ocean Energy Association CEO, Sian George will close the conference this afternoon with a meeting of the ‘Ocean Energy Hub’, a group of industry leaders and politicians who want to create a ‘road map’ for the future of ocean energy.

Panels run yesterday revolved around issues such as boosting the number of jobs in the industry and the creation of new technology.

According to Scottish Development International, Scotland “benefit[s] from 25 percent of Europe’s tidal energy and 10 percent of Europe’s wave resources”. We are also “leading the world in the development and commercialisation of wave and tidal energy. Scotland’s natural environment offers the perfect location for wave and tidal energy investment.”