COMPETITIVENESS AND COST REDUCTION Changes in revenue support in the jurisdictions where marine energy is likely to be tested and


deployed have meant that the industry is arguably having to demonstrate a pathway to cost reduction and competitiveness faster and earlier than any other technology has historically had to do so

It is no surprise that the industry is looking at clever ways of maximising the revenue and potential energy output from early stage devices.

EXAMPLES Great examples of this are the ‘Surf and Turf’ hydrogen and storage developments taking place at EMEC. Excess power from deployments at the EMEC test centre is being captured, converted into hydrogen and back into electricity, which is then used on the Orkney inter-island ferries.

Wider energy storage has boomed in the UK over the past couple of years and co-location of battery storage on renewables sites can maximise the revenue derived from a site grid connection.

Some marine energy developers are also considering deployment of small scale marine energy projects for island communities enabling the power to be used directly on the island which struggles to get any ‘on grid’ power.

There are also developments afoot in relation to co-location of marine energy with other renewables developments such as floating power plants, wave and wind technology and floating solar.

All of these represent ideas and areas which can help demonstrate the value of marine energy to governments and communities and enhance the business case for wave & tidal projects. These ideas do, however, come with a number

of legal hurdles to consider. These hurdles can all be jumped, but there is always a balance between the race to deploy and the burden of additional work, cost and hassle in relation to ideas around co-location.

ISSUES Burges Salmon has been working on many co-located projects, be they solar, wind or energy storage. Among the issues to watch out for are the following…

Onshore (and offshore) real estate rights – Check that your land or seabed rights extend to the ability to place different technologies or storage developments on the site or seabed. Consenting – Marine developers should be considering how they can future proof consents to enable them to fit different and further technologies. Shared grid – This is often the most difficult issue. Where technologies are going to be divided up into different projects (e.g. a storage project alongside the marine energy project) each project usually requires its own secure access to the grid. Grid connections tend to be in the name of a single entity so the whole concept of shared grid comes into play. There are routes around this such as grid sharing arrangements and grid company set ups but these issues do need to be addressed.

Incentive Regime Interface – The current incentive regimes for wave & tidal contain restrictions in relation to the incorporation of energy storage

projects into renewables projects that have been accredited or are a party to a CFD. These restrictions can be overcome but upfront technical and metering due diligence is important. Power offtakes – How will the power be traded and if for example, storage is included, what is the route to market for the stored energy and what revenues will be derived from the energy storage? The revenue models from energy storage are in a constant state of flux and it is very important to be able to re-evaluate them quickly and efficiently as regulations and industry codes change.

FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS The above are just a few of the issues. While there are solutions to all of these, it pays to consider these in the early stages. Over the next few years, it will be important for marine energy to be flexible and innovative about piecing together different types of energy infrastructure to ensure that deployments are shown to be competitive and a useful and alternative solution to the energy needs that countries, regions and islands face.

Ross Fairley

Head of Renewable Energy Burges Salmon





Award winning experts in the marine energy sector, with the track record, industry insight and regulatory knowledge to drive projects to completion.


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