Annual Report 2018
Country Reports


Henry Jeffrey The University of Edinburgh


This section contains an overview of the primary research institutions and their core project activity in 2018. 


  • Supergen
    Set up in 2001, the wave and tidal Hub of Supergen - Sustainable PowER GENeration and supply - Programme delivers sustained and coordinated research into the development of the ocean energy sector.  Supported by 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
    Running from 2003 until 2018, the Supergen UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER) sought to engage developers, industry, academia and other stakeholders to conduct fundamental and applied research that accelerates deployment of ocean renewable energy. Supergen UKCMER culminated in this capacity in December 2018 after 15 years of operation.  The Centre held an assembly in Edinburgh to close down the long-running project and to introduce its successor, the Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub.  Supergen UKCMER was funded by the EPSRC and coordinated by the University of Edinburgh.
  • Supergen ORE Hub
    The Supergen ORE Hub is coordinated by the University of Plymouth and now consolidates offshore wind research activity with that of wave and tidal. The Hub launches in early 2019, and will bring together research institutions across the UK to align activity, progress the sector to ambitious levels and cultivate a ‘research landscape’ – a justified and collaborative interactive map of sector needs from a technological, funding and ecological perspective that will be available for public consumption.
  • The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult)
    ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology and innovation research centre, combining excellent research, development, demonstration and testing facilities with leadership, industrial reach and engineering expertise. ORE Catapult accelerates the design, deployment and commercialization of renewable energy technology innovation.  ORE Catapult owns and operates over £250m of test and validation facilities including a 7 MW offshore wind turbine, a 100m blade test facility, a 1 5MW drivetrain test facility, subsea docks and HV electrical labs. By the end of financial year 2017/2018, ORE Catapult had supported 410 SMEs, participated in 196 R&D projects, and engaged in 301 academic collaborations and 628 industry collaborations.



This section outlines a selection of projects carrying out R&D activities in the UK in 2018. The projects presented do not form an exhaustive list but an overview of the UK’s contribution to the progression of the sector.

  • EnFAIT
    The Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project is a €20.2m Horizon 2020 project, which began in July 2017 and will run until June 2022. 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 array in the Bluemull Sound, in Scotland’s Shetland Islands, which was the world’s first grid connected offshore array of tidal energy turbines. 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. In 2018, the project successfully completed the design and planning phase and moved into the delivery phase, which will see three new turbines built and deployed at the 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. Planned to conclude in April 2019, the two-year project has produced a Roadmap for anti-corrosion solutions in the Offshore Renewable Energy sector and selected three demonstration projects to move the sector forward.

  • TiPA 
    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 ocean energy technology developers and related industries. Now into its final year, the TiPA project is progressing well. The PTO successfully completed the accelerated onshore testing phase at RWTH Aachen University during summer 2018 and will complete the in-sea testing phase in spring 2019.  The project consortium is comprised of six academic and industrial European partners.

  • Wave Energy Scotland
    In 2018, WES continued strong progress through its stage gate research, development and innovation programme. In 2018, Wave Energy Scotland (WES) awarded a total of £12.5m to thirteen wave energy research and development projects as the programme continued towards integration of sub-systems and deployment of fully functional prototype wave energy converter in Scottish seas. One project received £2.5m to pass into the final stage of the Power Take Off programme. This joined three ongoing Stage 3 projects and one completed project, which brought the programme’s first in-sea technology testing. Three projects were funded a total of £632k to continue development of control systems and three projects were awarded £1.4m to progress engineering of structural materials for wave energy converters. The turn of 2019 delivered a key milestone for WES, the award of £7.7m to two Novel Wave Energy Converter companies to build fully functional pilot devices for testing in Scottish seas in 2020. Funding allocated by EMEC in 2018 went toward the following: £7.7m for two half-scale wave energy converter devices; £2.5m for power take-off development; £526k to 3 Controls projects; £1.4m to 3 Materials projects; and £320k for research landscaping. This brings overall investment to £38m in 86 projects since 2015. To date WES has funded 86 contracts and been involved with 177 separate organisations, across 13 different countries

    The FORESEA (Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action) project grants free access to a network of northwestern european tank test centres to ocean energy technologies.  These test centres are EMEC in Orkney, SmartBay in Ireland, SEM-REV in France and Dutch Marine Energy Centre in the Netherlands. FORESEA receives €6.45m in European funding, of a total €10.75m budget. The project funded a number of innovative technologies and initiatives in 2018; specifically CorPower Ocean, Orbital Marine Power, Naval Group and Whitford. FORESEA will run a fifth real-sea testing call in early 2019.  In addition to this, FORESEA gave rise to Blue-GIFT, a coordinated energy technology demonstration programme led by EMEC and focused around the Atlantic Arc. Blue-GIFT was launched in October 2018. 

    The CLEMATIS (Cable Lifetime Enhancement via Monitoring using Advanced Thermal and electrical Infrastructure Sensing) project, funded by Innovate UK, finished successfully in summer 2018. CLEMATIS achieved its objective of developing a smart integrated monitoring system for offshore underwater electricity cables. The project grew from the ORCHIDS feasibility study, progressing the system from desk-based theoretical testing, through to on- and offshore field tests. Project partners were led by Fraunhofer UK Research.