Research

 

World class research taking place in Wales

Facilities

 

Dynamic work space on offer

Funding

 

€100.4 million EU structural funds prioritised for marine energy in Wales

Consenting Guidance

 

To assist with the application process for marine licences

Research

The marine sector in Wales has received in excess of £70 million in research projects over the last 6 years to support the development of the sector. World class research is being carried out throughout Wales providing developers with excellent resources and support. MEW has links to all of the research projects being carried out in Wales with research project managers part of the MEW working group.

It is MEW’s aim to make sure that where possible research projects are steered by developers providing industry with assistance in carrying out their project development needs. 

Marine Energy Wales Research

In 2019 Marine Energy Wales launched a new ‘State of the Sector’ report which summarises the positive contribution marine renewable energy is making to the Welsh economy.

This report provides an update on similar research undertaken in 2017 and 2015.

The 2019 report highlights the findings of an industry survey conducted by Marine Energy Wales and provides information on wave, tidal stream and tidal range energy projects. It finds that the sector currently supports £96.2 million of investment in Wales, along with 566 person years of employment. 

SEACAMS2

SEACAMS2 is a collaborative project between Bangor and Swansea Universities which have a wide range of expertise covering all areas of marine science, ranging from marine biology to marine physics and oceanography. The aim of SEACAMS2 is to promote economic activity in Wales through collaborative research and development projects with marine renewable energy developers and allied businesses. Research outputs will lead to growth of SMEs and job generation through the expansion of commercial opportunities and activities in the marine renewable energy and allied sectors in Wales.

Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have carried out research on marine mammals, seabirds, seascapes, benthic species as well as providing natural heritage evidence to support strategic planning for marine renewable energy.  NRW have also produced draft advice on scoping an EIA for marine renewable energy developments. NRW strongly supports the need for coordinated research into the effects of wave and tidal stream technologies, in order to ensure the sustainable exploitation of marine renewable energy in Welsh waters.  Along with Welsh Government and The Crown Estate, NRW are members of the Steering Group for the UK Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme for Ocean Energy (ORJIP OE), which aims to coordinate UK marine energy research.

The Economic Impact of the Development of Marine Energy in Wales

Welsh Government commissioned an assessment of the potential economic contribution of marine energy to Wales.  The study, based on three potential scenarios highlighted the huge impact the wave and tidal stream sector could bring.

Scenario 1
A 30MW wave installation and a 30MW tidal stream installation;

Scenario 2
300MW in marine energy capacity (two 30MW wave installations and eight 30MW tidal stream installations, reflecting the relatively advanced state of tidal energy);

Scenario 3
1GW of marine energy capacity (250MW of wave and 750MW of tidal energy).

Marine Energy Pembrokeshire Research Evaluation

Marine Energy Pembrokeshire was commissioned by Welsh Government to carry out a 3 stage Welsh research evaluation report, aiming to increase the accessibility of all marine energy research in Wales. A comprehensive database can now be found on the website. This review also sought to improve collaboration between industry and academia. The aim was to make sure that wherever possible research projects are steered by developers providing industry with assistance in carrying out their project development needs.

The evaluation comprises three main elements:

  • Marine Energy Research Review
  • Previous Research Collaboration Review & Future Research / Industry Co-ordination in Wales
  • Welsh Marine Energy Research Priorities

Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework

The MRESF project has investigated the potential marine renewable energy resource of Welsh Territorial Waters (TWs) and considered potential scenarios for the sustainable development of that resource primarily as an aid to policy development and also an indicator of resource for potential developers.

The analysis and GIS mapping has been undertaken in five steps, designed to consider and apply a range of siting criteria for marine renewable energy devices within Welsh TWs. All of the data and evidence collated through the MRESF are now available through the Welsh Government’s Marine Planning Portal.

Marine Energy Infrastructure Study

To follow on from MRESF, the Welsh Government commissioned the Marine Renewable Infrastructure Study. This involved the preparation of a number of options for marine energy development, in particular the associated marine infrastructure which is required to support energy developers. The stage 2 study considered the MRESF data in detail along with grid connection and landfall arrangements, environmental sensitivities, consenting requirements, local ports and supply chain before recommending projects within specified deployment zones to be taken forward to more detailed feasibility studies and eventual construction.

QUOTIENT

Quotient is a Research Cluster within the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE). Funded from January 2015 to December 2018, the QUOTIENT Research Cluster will produce scientific research that will examine how wave and tidal energy resources interact with one-another, over a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from centimetres to kilometres and from sub-second to multi-decadal. Research within the cluster will determine how we can best manage marine renewable energy extraction, for multiple resource types, for future energy extraction scenarios, informing future energy policy and investment in the electricity network.

Low Carbon Research Institute

The multidisciplinary LCRI was set up to unite and promote energy research in Wales and help deliver a low carbon future.

LCRI Marine, the marine energy component of the LCRI project, is a collaboration of over 40 scientists from the leading academic marine institutions in Wales with the aim of helping to enable, support and build a sustainable marine energy sector in Wales. The project is led by Principal Investigator Dr Ian Masters from Swansea University.

UK Research

Ground breaking research has been carried out throughout the UK by a number of bodies.

Wave & Tidal Knowledge Network – The Knowledge Network facilitates the exchange of data in the emerging wave and tidal energy industry. It contains many resources on a range of relevant topics, including reports and datasets that can be downloaded for free.

Also available are links to information held by other organisations which may be available on a commercial basis. For more information, click here

The Crown  Estate Consolidation of wave and tidal EIA/HRA issues and  research priorities – As part of the current initiative to assist with developing a coordinated approach to addressing the key strategic  EIA/HRA issues associated with wave and tidal stream arrays (under, for example, an Offshore Renewables  Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) for wave and tide), Aquatera Limited was commissioned by The Crown  Estate to undertake a short, focused consultancy project. This report, produced by Aquatera Ltd, has been informed by an extensive consultation process including a  workshop hosted by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) which was attended by over 50  participants.  Therefore, the results presented within this report are considered to represent a consensus as to the key EIA/HRA issues and the current research gaps and priorities relevant to the wave and tidal sectors. Download the report here