Annual Report 2017
Country Reports


Henry Jeffrey The University of Edinburgh




The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult)
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is one of seven Catapult centres set up to bridge the gap between research and commercialisation in the UK. It was established by Innovate UK to accelerate the development of innovative technology that will lead to cost reductions in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors. Following the merger with the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), the ORE Catapult now offers an integrated engineering, research and testing capability for the offshore renewable energy sector.

ORE Catapult has collaborated with over 500 industrial and academic partners in its latest financial year, including support to 134 small and medium-sized companies and participation in 35 international projects. Also in 2017, ORE Catapult launched the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub to coordinate innovation across industry, government and academia.

The Supergen programme was set up in 2001 to deliver sustained and coordinated research on Sustainable PowER GENeration and supply. Supported by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through calls and Centres for Doctoral Training, the programme has resulted in greater collaboration between academia, government and industry, the creation of new strategies and innovation programmes and provided an opportunity for international collaboration.

Supergen UKCMER
The Supergen UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER) seeks to engage developers, industry, academia and other stakeholders to conduct fundamental and applied research that accelerates deployment of marine renewable energy. Activity across the consortium has resulted in various achievements, including:

  • The population and validation of a GIS database of Scottish wave, tidal, offshore- and onshore wind resources as three year projected time series at 3 km resolution;
  • The development of a wave-to-wire model of an array of wave energy converters to explore the benefits of on-board energy storage for power and speed regulation; and
  • The inclusion of component reliability, operation and maintenance strategies, and predictions of device performance in the development of lifetime cost models of classes of wave energy converters Supergen ORE hub

In 2017, the decision was made to amalgamate the Wind Power and Marine Energy Supergen hubs into a new Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) hub, as the two sectors were identified as having sufficient common or aligned research challenges as well as synergies in technologies to merit clustering. Consultations with the research community over the creation of the ORE hub are underway to identify a coordinated programme of multidisciplinary research ahead of Supergen Phase 4 funding in 2018.


The Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project is a €20.2m Horizon 2020 project. The project is a partnership of nine European companies and academic partners, led by Scottish tidal energy developer Nova Innovation. EnFAIT builds on Nova’s existing operational tidal power station in Bluemull Sound, off the Shetland Islands in Scotland, which was the world’s first grid connected offshore array of tidal energy turbines.

The project, which began in July 2017 and will run until June 2022, was successful in winning a competitive funding award from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop marine energy sources and demonstrate technologies in European waters. The project is a flagship initiative for the EU and marine energy, and aims to increase the commercial viability of tidal power.

It will extend the Bluemull Sound array from three to six turbines and demonstrate that high array reliability and availability can be achieved using best practice maintenance regimes. The layout of the turbines will be adjusted to enable array interactions and optimisation to be studied for the very first time at an operational tidal energy site.

The North Sea Solutions for Innovation in Corrosion for Energy (NeSSIE) project is an EU funded research project primarily focused on the research and translation of cross-industry anti-corrosion technologies in the North Sea basin (NSB) to the offshore renewable energy sectors. Led by Scottish Enterprise, NeSSIE is composed of eight partners over five countries. NeSSIE commenced in 2017 and will run for two years.

The Tidal Turbine Power Take-Off Accelerator (TIPA) project focuses on the testing of an innovative Direct Drive Power Take-off (PTO) solution for tidal turbines, with the aim of reducing the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20%. Running until late 2019, TIPA is led by Nova Innovation and funded by EU Horizon 2020. The project includes accelerated onshore and in-sea testing of a prototype PTO with third party validation and a commercialisation strategy for selling and licensing the product to tidal energy technology developers. Project partners are SKF, Siemens, The University of Edinburgh, Delft Technical University, Wood Group and the Centre for Wind Power Drives RWTH Aachen University.

EERA Ocean Energy Joint Programme
The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Ocean Energy Joint Programme is coordinated by Henry Jeffrey at the University of Edinburgh. In a Joint Programme (JP) a research organisation joins institutions in other European countries to work on shared priority setting and research projects. The research themes of the EERA Ocean Energy JP are Resource, Technology, Deployment and Operations, Economics and Costs, Environmental and Socio-economic impacts, and Education and Training. An example of the work done by the EERA Ocean Energy JP includes the definition of the scope of the DT Ocean project, in which outputs from work carried out by the Ocean Energy JP fulfilled much of the requirement for background research.

ETIP Ocean
The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy (ETIP Ocean) project is managed by Ocean Energy Europe in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and funded by the European Commission. The key aim of ETIP Ocean is to define research and innovation priorities for the ocean energy sector and promote solutions to industry as well as European and national policy makers. In 2017, ETIP Ocean ran ten webinars and events with the purpose of encouraging knowledge exchange and collaboration within the emerging ocean energy sector.

The CEFOW (Clean Energy from Ocean Waves) project aims to deploy an array of three Wello Penguin wave energy converters (WECs) with improved power generation capability at EMEC’s grid-connected Billia Croo wave test site. The first of these was successfully installed in March 2017. The project will demonstrate that the WECs can survive in challenging sea conditions over a period of several years. In addition, a cost reduction roadmap will be developed to bring the levelised cost of wave power closer to a commercially viable level in the near future. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.