Crown Estate planning to make more marine sites available

23rd May 2013 from Press and Journal

The Crown Estate (CE) has unveiled plans to lease further wave and tidal sites in an effort to encourage and accelerate technology development.

Head of wind Huub den Rooijen told delegates at the opening plenary session of All-Energy that the leasing would focus on test and demonstration projects to be installed in waters around the UK.

This builds further on the various initiatives by the Crown Estate to promote development of our wave and tidal resources.

It includes the recent announcement that it is considering investing up to £20 million in the UK’s first wave and tidal stream array projects, which are highly likely to make use of technologies such as the Pelamis wavepower machine developed in Scotland and on test at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) in Orkney.

Mr Rooijen said two new features were being added to the CE’s offering.

- Demonstration zones - to help the industry focus on the best seabed locations, it is creating new zones for test and demonstration activities. Using its specialist knowledge of the UK seabed and working in partnership with statutory marine planning organisations, the CE is defining zones that offer appropriate wave and tidal energy resources and access to necessary infrastructure, including ports and the electricity grid

- Third-party management of zones - once the zones are defined, CE plans to invite third-party organisations to manage them and sublet areas within them for test and demonstration activities. The third-party managers may be public or private-sector organisations and, before subletting, may choose to undertake preparatory work, such as installing infrastructure to make the zones attractive for use. To ensure the zones are managed sustainably, CE plans to include in the selection criteria a requirement that interested parties demonstrate a strong understanding of local interests.

Mr Rooijen said: “The emerging wave and tidal industry has already taken great strides, but we want to encourage faster progress in technology development and rapid cost reduction. By introducing managed demonstration zones, we’re offering a key opportunity to other organisations to lend tangible support in their local areas.”

The new leasing is planned for launch in September.

Welcoming the news, Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland has already quickly established itself as the key destination for testing and delivery of wave and tidal devices with the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre, in Orkney.

“We therefore welcome the Crown Estate’s announcement that further wave and tidal sites will be leased in an effort to encourage and accelerate technology development.

“Having new demonstration zones in Scottish waters can create significant opportunities for companies such as Nautricity and AlbaTERN who are looking to take their devices to the next stage of commercial development.”

Some 41 wave and tidal sites have already been leased nationwide with a potential installed capacity of about 2,000 megawatts. This is the largest development pipeline of wave and tidal projects in the world.

Source
Press and Journal: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/

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