What is TeraWatt?

Terawatt is a 3 year Scottish-based project which aims to minimise the environmental impact of marine renewable energy projects. 

Scotland's coastline offers great potential for wave and tidal energy production, and Scotland is currently at the forefront of the development of marine renewable technologies and ocean energy exploitation.  Critical to the success of both prototype testing and commercial projects will be the avoidance of any developments which might harm our marine eco-systems.

It is essential that the regulatory authorities understand how a number of multi-site developments collectively impact on the physical and biological processes over a wider region, both in relation to cumulative effects of the developments and marine planning responsibilities.  The careful and informed selection of sites will allow the optimum exploitation of available wave and tidal energy whilst minimising any potential environmental impacts.


Key outputs will be the development of computer based numerical models to simulate the effects of extracting energy using wave and tidal renewable energy devices.  TeraWatt will offer decision makers specific, targeted predictions of the impact individual developments may have and where they should be allowed to be sited.  The project will use the Pentland Firth and the waters around Orkney to develop models which will help to predict the physical and ecological consequences of wave and tidal energy extraction.


The project is led by Heriot Watt, with the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde, the Highlands and Islands and Marine Scotland Science (MSS). The consortium has the support and anticipates the full engagement of the marine renewable developers in many aspects of the work. 

Co-ordinated by Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK), the project forms part of a national 3 year programme of research through the SUPERGEN UK Centre for Marine Energy Research led by Edinburgh University.  This virtual centre conducts world-class fundamental and applied research that assists the marine energy sector in the UK to reliably and dependably accelerate deployment rates and ensure sustained growth in generating capacity to meet the UK's 2020 renewable energy targets.