Farewell to Pelamis

One of the perks of living in Stromness, just a few minutes walk from EMEC‘s offices, is that I get to see some of what’s going on behind the headlines. Right now, something that’s going on is the decommissioning of one of the Pelamis P2 machines (the one belonging to Highlands & Islands Enterprise).

This most famous of wave energy machines was divided into its five sections, and each section lifted onto a barge. They were then cut into small enough pieces for road transport, and taken from barge to workboat and workboat to truck. I was able to grab a few photos of the last part of this process.

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I perceived Pelamis as the “poster boy” for marine renewables, and I think many others did too. It was the machine that my friends, and sometimes even my mum’s friends, had heard of. The industry was always going to have to deal, at some point, with one of the big companies failing, and there’s no reason to extrapolate from this to the fate of wave energy as a whole. However, it did feel very poignant.

Posted by simon in The wider world

A new blog

A blank notebook.

Image by Domas, licensed CC0.

Many, many, PhD students start blogs during their study. Some do it at the encouragement of their supervisors, and some of their own initiative, but most do it in their first year, full of enthusiasm for the adventure ahead. That is not me. Or at least, parts of it are not.

Hi, I’m Simon. I’m a PhD student based in the Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland. I’m in my final year of study, working at the intersection of physical oceanography, numerical modelling, and marine renewable energy.

The genesis of this blog was prompted by the exciting news that, thanks to a recent grant, I will be spending some weeks doing research in Japan this summer. I hope that this can be a place to reflect on my experience there, both for my own benefit and to interest others. Perhaps it will be abandoned after that, or perhaps it will grow to cover other topics. Perhaps it will be valuable productive procrastination during my writing up, or perhaps it will be neglected as final-year pressure mounts. Time will tell, but either way, I hope that it will be worthwhile reading for a little while.

If you want to keep up with new posts, you have a few options:

  • You can check back here regularly. I make no promises as to the frequency of posts, so I don’t advise this option.
  • You can subscribe to the RSS feed. Outlook will do this, as will plenty of dedicated software and cloud systems.
  • You can use IFTTT, or similar, to subscribe to the RSS feed for you and notify you when there’s something new (by email, or whatever else you choose).
  • You can follow me on Twitter, where I will announce new posts. You will also have to put up with a modest output of other tweets, mostly around the topics of energy, environment and academia. Who knows, you might find those interesting too!
Posted by simon in Website updates