Kawasaki to test marine energy technology in Orkney

Scotland, at the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney, aims to host 10 prototype wave energy and tidal energy systems by the end of the year. The center had one wave energy system in 2004 and one tidal machine in 2006. Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has announced it is to test a new tidal energy system in Scottish waters. KHI will test its new technology at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) site at the Fall of Warness, Orkney.

The maker of Kawasaki motorcycles is to develop a tidal power generation system using its expertise in engines, marine propulsion and gas turbine systems. First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the announcement. He said: "It is a very welcome recognition of Scotland’s vast marine renewables potential.

"Japan is one of the great industrial nations of the world and I am encouraged that it shares Scotland’s vision of building on a strong engineering heritage to harness our natural resources and generate clean, renewable power that can reduce harmful emissions and tackle global climate change."

He added: "Scotland has around one quarter of Europe’s tidal energy resource and a growing expertise in offshore renewables, and I am determined that we continue to encourage world-leading companies like KHI to work with us in developing pioneering technologies that can power the economies of the future and benefit the generations that follow us."
‘Position cemented’

Emec commercial director Richard Morris said Kawasaki’s decision to use its test site "further cemented" Scotland’s position at the forefront of the renewable energy industry.

He added: "Our site is home to technology developers from across the globe, and our ongoing aim is to expand our operations in key locations including the Americas, Asia and continental Europe.

"There are significant wave and tidal resources in all of these areas and it is key that we continue to work with developers worldwide, to ensure we maintain and further grow our reputation for excellence both as a test centre and consultancy provider."

Richard Dixon, director of environmental group WWF Scotland, said the announcement by Kawasaki was very important because it opened the door to wider co-operation between Japan and Scotland on cleaner, green energy.

He added: "Instead of competing with each other, our two nations can work together to develop the energy solutions the planet so desperately needs."