Return to earlier checklist…
Vitality moved to centre stage in 2022, not due to local weather change, however due to the struggle in Ukraine. The massive rise in fossil gasoline costs has fuelled inflation and is resulting in widespread hardship. Thank goodness for renewables because the monetary impression of the struggle would have been even larger had we not been growing our renewable vitality capability within the current previous.
However the worth rise in all electrical energy, together with that which has nothing to do with fossil fuels, has proven how removed from rational the ‘regular’ vitality system is. Orkney has lengthy been calling for change to the UK’s archaic system; lastly it appears to be like like everyone is waking as much as the chance to enhance the best way we generate and distribute vitality, albeit within the wake of the massive prices we now face from previous selections and inaction to decarbonise.
In order EMEC enters its twentieth yr we see the work we and our companions are doing to search out methods to reap vitality from our oceans more and more vital. Not solely that however the expertise of almost twenty years of strong slog has rewarded us with helpful perception right into a myriad of features of the vitality system. EMEC’s work on inexperienced hydrogen has turn into more and more wanted given our on the bottom expertise and our plans to assist floating offshore wind develop are receiving sturdy help.
It seems like new chapters are beginning to be written within the story of transitioning from fossil dependency to true sustainability.
All that is occurring towards a difficult monetary backdrop, however the crucial to decarbonise solely continues to extend. We discover it actually rewarding to listen to different individuals’s tales of progress and it was a fantastic honour to have been requested to turn into nominators in The Earthshot Prize this yr. This imaginative prize seeks to search out, publicise and reward organisations who’re combating again towards planetary degradation, in addition to encourage others to affix the battle and profit from the alternatives of change.
Due to pioneering work finished up to now enabling renewables (onshore wind, offshore wind, PV and so on) to be deployed, we’re rising our vitality safety and dealing in the direction of a extra steady and reasonably priced future. As we enter 2023 we all know that the work we’re doing now won’t solely decrease payments for individuals who come after us however give them an opportunity of inheriting a liveable planet. EMEC see it as a privilege to be allowed to assist make this distinction.
So the next is a barely breathless gallop although a few of what EMEC, our shoppers and supporters have achieved collectively in 2022. Partially it offers us an opportunity to say thanks to everyone who contributed and has supported our work as funders, suppliers, workers and members of the neighborhood. None of this is able to have been achieved with out you.
I hope you discover this informative, however largely I hope you discover it only a bit inspirational about what will be achieved once we set our minds to it and simply attempt.
We’re decided to play our half in constructing a sustainable future. In case you may also help us or if we may also help you then please tell us.
Benefit from the learn and please get in contact.
2022 kicked off with the arrival of AWS Ocean Vitality’s Archimedes Waveswing in Orkney. Funded by Wave Vitality Scotland, and supported by the Interreg NWE Ocean DEMO mission, the 16 kW wave vitality converter (WEC) underwent preliminary shakedown testing at EMEC’s Scapa Movement check website demonstrating deployment, operation and restoration of the system. Throughout its testing programme, common energy of over 10 kW, and peaks of 80 kW, had been achieved exceeding AWS’s predictions by 20%. When not deployed on the check website, the WaveSwing will be seen sitting on Copland’s Dock in Stromness.
In the meantime, having accomplished preliminary demonstrations of its Blue X WEC at our Scapa Movement website in 2021, Mocean Vitality is readying for deployment in Deerness, Orkney, together with a Halo subsea vitality storage system designed by Verlume. We can be supporting with instrument deployment, information processing and high quality management.
AWS and Mocean share classes learnt from their real-sea demonstrations at EMEC on this ETIP Ocean and Ocean DEMO webinar.
EMEC up to date and prolonged surveys of the Billia Croo wave check website over the summer season to overview the place and situation of our subsea cables and observe any others adjustments to website topography and geology. The brand new bathymetry, magnetometry and sub-bottom profiling surveys add to our understanding of the websites traits which is able to help builders as they put together to deploy.
We’re working with numerous wave vitality builders readying applied sciences for testing at Billia Croo within the coming years. Marine Energy Programs (MPS) signed as much as exhibit a multi-megawatt wave vitality array at two berths in 2025/26. The PelaGen WECs can be deployed on a modular floating platform, PelaFlex. EuropeWave has additionally reserved a berth at Billia Croo as a part of the third and remaining part of the EuropeWave programme in 2025. The second part of the programme not too long ago bought underway with 5 wave vitality builders progressing a front-end engineering design of scaled prototype gadgets meant for the open-water trials; three can be chosen to proceed to Section 3 in summer season 2023.
We additionally welcomed the launch of the €19.6 million partnership mission, WEDUSEA. Co-funded by EU Horizon Europe and Innovate UK, the mission will culminate with a two-year grid-connected demonstration of OceanEnergy’s OE35 WEC at our Billia Croo wave check website. Within the meantime, we’ll help the mission, feeding metocean, bathymetry and geophysical information into the design standards for OE35.
This yr we’ve additionally been supporting Quoceant with the event of its Q-Join system, a modular and adaptable fast connection system for moorings and electrical cables to marine renewable gadgets. EMEC accomplished an inspection of the system, testing in accordance with our accreditation and the IEC TS62600-10 normal on evaluation of marine vitality mooring techniques. We additionally hosted a webinar to share classes learnt and mission progress.
A terrific step ahead for the tidal stream vitality sector got here in July when the UK authorities awarded Contracts for Distinction (CfDs) to tidal energy for the primary time. The CfD scheme is the federal government’s important mechanism for supporting low-carbon electrical energy technology, boosting British vitality safety with cleaner, extra reasonably priced, various and domestically generated electrical energy. EMEC is proud to have performed a task in arguing for this ring-fenced pot of income help for tidal vitality. A complete of 41 MW of tidal vitality initiatives had been granted contracts at a tidal stream strike worth of £178.54/MWh.
From this pot, Orbital Marine Energy was awarded two CfDs totalling 7.2 MW tidal vitality deployments at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal check website. Magallanes was awarded 5.6 MW for a tidal vitality mission at Morlais in Wales, whereas EMEC alumni SIMEC Atlantis Vitality secured 28 MW to additional develop the MeyGen website in Caithness.
We’ve had two tidal vitality applied sciences demonstrating on the Fall of Warness website this yr. We welcomed the return of the Magallanes ATIR system following upkeep works, whereas Orbital’s O2 floating tidal turbine has been working on website since 2021; each have been supported by the Interreg Ocean DEMO mission. In the meantime, California-based tidal vitality developer Aquantis, Inc is making ready to deploy its Tidal Energy Tug on the Shapinsay Sound check website in 2023.
For the reason that O2 started working, Orbital has reported peak energy of two.5 MW. The subsequent iteration of the O2 is being developed as a part of the EU funded FORWARD-2030 mission which goals to develop a multi-vector vitality system combining tidal vitality, wind technology, grid export, battery storage and inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing. EMEC will host the demonstration, facilitating hydrogen manufacturing and delivering an environmental monitoring programme. By 2022 the mission has centered on design and procurement actions, with EMEC making ready for acoustic drift surveys to analyse the noise signature of the O2 in 2023.
Different offshore actions embrace the removing of the OpenHydro turbine from its check platform. A situation evaluation is being carried out on the platform as EMEC explores choices for repurposing the platform for different offshore R&D initiatives. In the meantime, new distributed acoustic sensing and distributed temperature sensing tools was demonstrated on EMEC’s subsea cables to observe motion sensitivity and temperature. And a workforce of researchers, led by the Bryden Centre, Queen’s College Belfast, trialled a novel technique to assess bio-physical interactions with floating tidal generators. Survey strategies included unmanned aerial autos (UAVs) and water column present measurements alongside visible observations of seabirds and their prey across the O2 turbine. On the primary day of the survey the workforce had been greeted by a pod of killer whales travelling via the location!
We additionally hosted two interns over the summer season to help the processing and evaluation of environmental information. James Mershon analysed UAV photographs of marine wildlife on the Fall of Warness, whereas Hannah Ruskin-Dodd studied collision danger fashions.
Outdoors of Orkney, throughout the Interreg FCE funded TIGER mission, EMEC ran ADCP campaigns at PTEC within the Isle of Wight and Raz Blanchard in France and is refining accredited check procedures for the sector.
2021 neared its shut with the publication of a promising report wanting on the price discount pathway of tidal vitality, produced as a part of the TIGER mission. The report paperwork the worldwide state of the tidal market and presents a value discount trajectory taking tidal vitality from its present worth of £260/MWh all the way down to £78/MWh by 2035. For this to materialise, an enormous ramp up of put in capability is required over the subsequent decade, which in flip requires long-term coverage help and continued ring-fenced funding.
Offshore wind vitality
In October, we introduced our aspirations to develop a brand new 100 MW floating offshore wind check and demonstration website. EMEC is aiming to safe a lease for a website ~20 km west of Orkney, additional out to sea from our wave vitality check facility at Billia Croo. We’ve concluded idea design, supported by Xodus Group, for a six-berth demonstration website for floating generators of as much as 20 MW rated capability. 4 of the six berths can be grid-connected, whereas the ultimate two reserved for various purposes corresponding to hydrogen technology.
With greater than 25 GW of floating wind as a consequence of be deployed in UK waters over the subsequent 20 years, EMEC’s proposed website would supply an important testing floor with consultant metocean circumstances to these in ScotWind and Celtic Seas.
This yr we additionally kicked off a serious analysis and innovation (R&I) programme with the West of Orkney Windfarm. Rights to develop the two GW windfarm 30 km off the west coast of Orkney had been secured in January with an intention to begin producing energy by 2030. The R&I programme is tasked with figuring out methods to ship the mission extra effectively and affordably protecting a broad vary of challenges together with the uncovered location, environmental impacts and distant operations.
As soon as constructed, the windfarm might ship renewable energy to the Flotta Hydrogen Hub, a proposed large-scale inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing facility in Orkney for which plans are being developed by Offshore Wind Energy Restricted and companions, with help from EMEC.
In the meantime, the CleanWinTur mission continued researching sensible options to minimise the impacts of biofouling on offshore wind buildings. A number of applied sciences have been trialled to discourage biofouling on ladders together with ultrasonic transducer, UV and thermal techniques. Extra on that within the new yr.
Constructing on 20 years of expertise working offshore check websites, alongside our drive to assist develop revolutionary sustainable options to sort out local weather change, floating offshore wind is a pure subsequent step within the evolution of EMEC. Floating wind poses a major alternative for Orkney; BBC Radio Orkney discusses the alternatives and public opinion in its newest Vitality Islands broadcast.
The potential of hydrogen applied sciences has gained important consideration for the reason that UK authorities revealed its hydrogen technique final yr. The preliminary aim was for five GW of hydrogen manufacturing by 2030; the brand new British Vitality Safety Technique doubled that to 10 GW, with at the least half of this from electrolysis. The Scottish Authorities launched its Hydrogen Motion Plan this month, reconfirming ambitions for five GW of put in renewable and low-carbon hydrogen manufacturing capability by 2030. EMEC continues to work laborious to determine alternatives and progress efforts to help these plans and discover the place inexperienced hydrogen can finest play a task in a internet zero economic system.
Renewables integration for hydrogen technology and storage
Developments at EMEC’s Caldale website on Eday continued apace this yr with companions and subcontractors working with EMEC to put in and fee tools onshore. EMEC’s 670 kW electrolyser is being recommissioned and has produced small quantities of hydrogen as a part of the commissioning course of. Alongside this, we welcomed the arrival of 48 vanadium circulation batteries, provided by Invinity Vitality Programs, which have been put in and energised in EMEC’s new vitality storage constructing. Funded by The Scottish Authorities, the 1.8 MWh battery system goals to ‘easy’ tidal energy by storing it throughout excessive technology intervals and releasing throughout low technology intervals to allow the continual manufacturing of inexperienced hydrogen from tidal vitality. We look ahead to demonstrating the combination of those applied sciences within the new yr.
Incorporating these website developments, the Interreg NWE ITEG mission will help the demonstration of the built-in tidal, battery and hydrogen resolution, with a brand new vitality administration system designed to find out whether or not tidal energy is routed to the grid or used for hydrogen manufacturing. A collection of ITEG webinars present mission and hydrogen sector updates.
We’re collaborating with H2GO Energy on two initiatives demonstrating hydrogen storage and synthetic intelligence (AI). The HyAI 2 mission goals to trial an AI software program platform to optimise manufacturing and storage by combining historic and forecasted information on climate, renewable technology sources together with wind and tidal, in addition to hydrogen storage capability and electrical energy costs. The mission builds on preliminary modelling and simulations utilizing real-word information from EMEC’s website. The second mission, SHyLO (Strong Hydrogen at Low pressures) goals to put in and exhibit H2GO Energy’s 1 MWh modular low-pressure hydrogen storage resolution and can be built-in with the HyAI cloud platform and EMEC’s community of hydrogen belongings to evaluate efficiency and business viability. Commissioning of the answer is predicted to start in 2023.
EMEC additionally welcomed a brand new shopper, Zero Host, to Eday. Zero Host’s information centre is within the technique of being put in within the vitality storage constructing and goals to cut back curtailment of the Eday neighborhood wind turbine. Extra on that in 2023.
Demonstrating hydrogen logistics and use
The BIG HIT (Constructing Revolutionary Inexperienced Hydrogen Programs in an Remoted Territory) mission resulted in 2022. Classes from demonstrating package inside this mission, and different pilot initiatives corresponding to Surf ‘n’ Turf, are proving invaluable in paving the best way for innovation and improvement within the sector.
As a legacy of those trailblazing initiatives, Orkney is without doubt one of the first places to deploy belongings throughout the complete hydrogen worth chain and is widely known as one of many first ‘hydrogen territories’ in Europe. By exploring built-in approaches to hydrogen manufacturing, storage, transportation and finish use, important studying was gained on the deployment, upkeep and operation of belongings, with many operational challenges confronted all through the mission. Studying corresponding to electrolyser stack design, system integration and materials choice has fed into EMEC’s website developments on Eday and supported wider business and know-how improvement. Moreover, we’ve developed a deeper understanding of hydrogen logistics enabling us to develop normal working procedures for transporting hydrogen through highway and ferry.
Our Operations Technician, Jerry Gibson, supplies some perception into this studying within the Hydrogen Territories Platform webinar.
To help the transportation of hydrogen from Eday to R&D purposes throughout Orkney and the UK, EMEC was awarded funding from the Scottish Authorities to safe two further cell hydrogen storage trailers. The trailers will enhance the logistics and help new initiatives, positioning EMEC to broaden hydrogen manufacturing within the coming years.
2022 noticed new alternatives for low carbon aviation demonstrations. The Sustainable Aviation Check Setting (SATE), based mostly at Kirkwall Airport, was given a funding enhance as a part of the Future Flight Problem. SATE 2 goals to determine an unmanned aerial automobile (UAV) hub-and-spoke supply community and can conduct demonstration flights of applied sciences together with a hydrogen-electric regional plane and a drone flight from Scotland to Norway. EMEC will help the flight trials within the mission, supplying inexperienced hydrogen and the usage of a bespoke hydrogen refuelling system suitable with an airport surroundings.
With funding help from The Scottish Authorities, EMEC put in a hydrogen-powered mixed warmth and energy (CHP) unit at Kirkwall Airport, supported by our sub-contractors. Hydrogen generated in Eday was delivered to the airport to help the commissioning course of; package can be absolutely trialled subsequent yr to satisfy among the warmth and energy necessities of the airport constructing, producing solely water vapour as a by-product.
Outdoors of Orkney, EMEC proceed to help the HyFlyer II mission with our hydrogen manufacturing and refuelling system at ZeroAvia’s R&D facility at Kemble Airport. Hydrogen produced on website has supported the bottom testing of ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 check mattress plane, retrofitted with a hydrogen-electric powertrain. The primary flight exams are anticipated to happen within the new yr.
Hitting the headlines on the finish of the yr, EMEC offered inexperienced hydrogen produced in Orkney to gasoline the floor check of a transformed Rolls-Royce jet engine. The check befell at an out of doors check facility at Boscombe Down, UK. A video of the bottom check will be considered right here.
We anticipate artificial fuels could have a big half to play in aviation sooner or later. Hear into Pete Oswald on BBC Radio Orkney (~48 min 30 seconds in) explaining how inexperienced aviation gasoline created with the assistance of EMEC was utilized by the RAF.
Being based mostly on an archipelago, the maritime sector continues to be an space of strategic R&D curiosity for EMEC. We’re investigating the position inexperienced hydrogen might have, both as a gasoline or a constructing block to supply spinoff fuels, in decarbonising the sector.
The HIMET (Hydrogen in an Built-in Maritime Vitality Transition) mission set out a programme of check and demonstration actions exploring maritime decarbonisation. EMEC led the consortium focussed on trials of low-carbon applied sciences for vessels at sea and shore-side options. In March, a hybrid photo voltaic PV and hydrogen engine was deployed at Hatston Pier in Kirkwall to energy welfare services on the cruise terminal. This was utilized by shoreside crew welcoming cruise passengers to Orkney over the summer season season and is predicted to be redeployed in 2023. Feasibility research assessing microgrid options and hydrogen and ammonia fuels for maritime use had been additionally performed. Sadly, as a consequence of tight mission timelines and world provide chain points, it was not attainable to finish all deliberate demonstration actions throughout the period of the mission itself, nonetheless learnings and suggestions are being fed into future maritime decarbonisation initiatives.
EMEC are additionally a part of three consortia following the second funding spherical of the Clear Maritime Decarbonisation Competitors. On account of kick off in January 2023, the initiatives will conduct technical and financial feasibility research related to improvement and real-world demonstration. For instance, mission ZEPHyr (Zero Emission Hydrogen Powered Hovercraft) is an 8-month feasibility examine aiming to de-risk the obstacles to zero-emission hovercraft operations.
Orkney is on the coronary heart of EMEC’s DNA. We’re proud to be based mostly in Orkney and a big focus of the work we do considers the best way to create native impression – economically and socially in addition to positioning the islands on the centre of the renewable vitality revolution. Our PhD researcher, Lara Santos, is exploring the justice dimensions of rising vitality applied sciences notably centered on ocean vitality and inexperienced hydrogen in island communities. It’s shaping as much as be an enchanting physique of labor.
EMEC goals to make sure the work happening right here generates ongoing native profit. In 2021/22, 45% (£3.2 million) of EMEC’s whole expenditure was spent within the native Orkney economic system; since 2005, over £30 million (50% of whole expenditure) has been spent by EMEC domestically. As EMEC diversifies, we proceed to develop with over 80 members of workers now working at EMEC, 75% of whom stay and work in Orkney. We’re actively recruiting numerous positions throughout the corporate and have not too long ago opened our internship programme for 2023 consumption.
We attempt to be a good and equitable employer, making a vibrant and inclusive working surroundings for our workforce. Our imply gender pay hole is 11.8%, which has halved from 23% again in 2019; we’re actively working to cut back it additional. We proudly joined the Worldwide Ladies in Engineering Day and #BreaktheBia campaigns in 2022 and held imposter syndrome workshops throughout the corporate.
In 2022 we sponsored native occasions such because the Folks Pageant and the Orkney Blues Pageant in addition to native golf equipment just like the Orkney Beginner Swimming Membership and the Stromness Pipe Band. We’ve additionally donated prizes for fundraising, for instance to Stromness Academy for his or her Christmas honest and to the Holm Crusing Membership for a brand new security boat.
Our workers have been partaking with younger individuals on inexperienced profession paths and alternatives in a internet zero future. Actions this yr have spanned STEM talks at Kirkwall Grammar Faculty and Stromness Academy, chatting with college students on the Orkney Careers Truthful and dealing with Glasgow Science Centre on wider STEM engagement alternatives.
A spotlight of the yr was the Orkney Worldwide Science Pageant. We held open days at our Billia Croo wave check website and hydrogen gasoline cell in Kirkwall, attracting over 50 locals and vacationers to every website. We held our annual science competition replace within the Stromness City Corridor alongside our shoppers AWS and Orbital, with ~70 individuals becoming a member of us for the night discuss, and engaged with a youthful viewers on the Household Day, with a hydrogen demonstration automotive, marine soundscapes sport, and science-fiction writing competitors about “vitality futures”.
We’re all the time excited about connecting with new audiences and excited to see the artistic sectors being impressed to speak our work via totally different media. In the summertime, poet Ingrid Leonard spent a two-week residency at EMEC following which she revealed a group of poems, ‘What the Waves Make’. And we had been delighted to listen to concerning the launch of native band Fara’s new album titled Vitality Islands, with EMEC credited as a part of their inspiration contained in the entrance cowl.
Following journey restrictions being lifted, we had been delighted to welcome new and returning guests again to Orkney together with a number of members of Scottish and British parliament: Michael Matheson MSP, Lorna Slater MSP, Richard Lochhead MSP, and Rt Hon Greg Clark MP. We’ve hosted guests from international locations together with Japan, Malta, Norway, Canada and New Zealand and facilitated a extremely partaking go to from Crown Property Scotland Board members.
We had been delighted to get again on the convention circuit this yr, essential for connecting with colleagues within the business and sharing information and classes learnt. Highlights embrace exhibiting alongside the Orkney and Highlands and Islands provide chain at All-Vitality in Glasgow, particular due to Scotland’s First Minister for popping previous for a chat. The First Minister additionally visited us on the Royal Highland Present to debate the revolutionary initiatives which can be pioneering a low carbon future in Orkney and throughout Scotland.
The worldwide ocean vitality sector then converged in San Sebastian in Spain for ICOE (the Worldwide Convention on Ocean Vitality). Previous to ICOE, we co-hosted the Worldwide WaTERS workshop with EVE and BiMEP, welcoming 34 delegates from 17 ocean vitality check centres for 2 days of workshops sharing challenges and studying with each other.
Within the highlight
A well-deserved award was made in June, when our Chair, Andrew Mill, was awarded an OBE for companies to the surroundings and the neighborhood in Orkney. Andrew was on the helm of EMEC when the corporate was arrange in 2003, performing as managing director till 2005, and returned as Chair in 2014. The OBE is nicely earned recognition of his laborious work and dedication to renewables via his time with EMEC and the impression that’s had as a major employer in Orkney.
EMEC workers had been additionally nicely recognised this yr, with Caron Oag, EMEC’s Senior Advertising and marketing Officer (Hydrogen) taking residence the Skilled Service Award on the Scottish Renewables Younger Skilled Awards. In the meantime at ICOE, EMEC’s EngD pupil, Alyona Naberezhnykh, was awarded first place within the poster competitors for her poster ‘Can we belief turbulence fashions?’, whereas Luke Evans took first place within the images competitors within the marine surroundings class.
EMEC had been additionally extremely recommended for the Pioneer award on the British Renewable Vitality Awards.
EMEC strives to help the event of options to fight local weather change and in 2022 we turned an Official Nominator for The Earthshot Prize. This adopted a go to from the Prince and Princess of Wales, then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in 2021. The Earthshot Prize is probably the most prestigious world surroundings prize in historical past, aiming to search out new options to the world’s largest environmental issues. As an Official Nominator, we’ve got launched an open name in search of improvements that may assist restore and regenerate the planet. Functions deadline is 12 midday, Tuesday 17 January 2023.
2023 marks EMEC’s twentieth anniversary and we can be showcasing progress made up to now in growing an ocean vitality sector and exploring new vitality techniques and vitality vectors. In addition to the demonstration and R&D actions talked about above, we can be sharing classes learnt from the ReFLEX Orkney mission addressing the challenges in delivering an entire vitality techniques method for sensible native vitality techniques. And we look ahead to sharing plans for the Islands Centre for New Zero, one of many key initiatives being established as a part of the Islands Progress Deal aiming to determine Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides as lighthouse communities within the transition to internet zero.
Seems like we’ve got yet one more busy yr lined up as we work with our companions to proceed pioneering a low carbon future.