Tidal energy

McIntosh takes chair at QED Naval at ‘crucial time’

Gordon McIntosh has been appointed chairman of Scottish tidal energy firm, QED Naval, succeeding Peter Syme who has retired.

He  is chairman of Aberdeen International Associates and a director of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. He held senior roles in Aberdeen City Council from 1995 to 2016, latterly as director of enterprise, planning and infrastructure.

In 2016 he was approached by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, to be its Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, a role he held until 2018.

Mr McIntosh established Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group,  was a director on the board of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) and was involved in the Aberdeen Hydrogen Strategy.

He holds an honorary Professorship from Robert Gordon University.

He said it was a crucial time for the marine energy sector but noted that government funding for tidal energy has been “severely restricted” and we are not on track to achieve our net zero goals. 

“In the UK we have 50% of the EU’s tidal energy potential, but we are still relying on fossil fuels for the majority of our energy supply,” he said.

“We want to build a new industry for Scotland, and the UK, which can then be exported globally, in the same way that the wind industry benefits Denmark and Germany. The UK has the chance to lead the tidal energy market globally but we must ramp up investment now.”

Jeremy Smith, CEO of QED Nava,l said: “Gordon has extensive experience building businesses in the energy sector, as well as significant experience in marine energy development and policy.

“He has been a key player in projects to develop a joint supply chain which will prove invaluable as we move ahead with commercialisation of our tidal turbine technology.

“The supply chain is the aspect which will create highly skilled jobs in marine energy and will demonstrate the potential of a predictable, low-cost, domestic energy supply to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

The global tidal energy market is valued at £76 billion, with a predicted GVA of £1.4 billion by 2030, supporting some 4,000 jobs.

In the UK, experts predict that tidal power could supply up to 14% of the country’s current energy needs.

QED has developed the SubHub tidal platform – a pioneering submersible system designed to support the commissioning, testing, transportation and installation of tidal turbines to the seabed. SubHub reduces the cost of deploying and maintaining turbines by 60% and improves yields by up to 48%.

To date, QED has secured EU funding and a place on Interreg’s €48.2 million Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project (TIGER), a global tidal showcase.

The company was founded by Mr Smith, a naval architect with 20 years’ experience within the defence research and marine industry, working on nuclear submarines, composite propulsion systems and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers project.

See also: Nova Innovation to raise £20m

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