Wales is positioned to become a major player in the global marine energy sector with a growing number of world leading developers stating their interest in developing projects in Welsh waters.
The drive to develop this new industry in Wales is set to continue post-referendum, with key projects already underway and considerable amount of EU funds available to developers, complemented by accessible sites, expertise and Welsh government’s support for inward investment, according to Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP).
Recent research points to the positive contribution this new industry can make to economic growth and skilled job creation.
With €100.4 million of European Regional Development Fund prioritised by the Welsh Government for marine energy in Wales, two Demonstration Zones, seabed agreements in place for 3 separate tidal projects and a number of proposals for tidal range projects, Wales has the potential to be a world-leader in the marine energy market – as a significant generator and, just as importantly, as an exporter of marine energy knowledge, technologies and services, MEP stated.
MEP is a partnership between technology developers, the supply chain, academia and the public sector working together to establish Pembrokeshire, a county in the south west of Wales, as a ‘centre of excellence’ for sustainable marine energy generation.
David Jones, Marine Energy Pembrokeshire’s Project Director, said: “The marine energy sector offers a once in a generation opportunity to secure a predictable, low carbon economy. One that will help deliver growth, energy security and diversity and assist in meeting the UKs new 2030 carbon targets.
“The €100.4 million of ERDF is a crucial factor in helping Wales complete in a global market – and a number of companies are already moving through the funding process. Wales is open for business and we encourage device developers to come and explore the Welsh offer.”
Furthermore, the industry, according MEP, has the potential to fulfil Wales’ desire for economic growth.
Wales’ Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, pledged that, post-referendum, Wales will remain a great place to do business.
“Wales’ economy has developed hugely over recent years and now boasts a strong international reputation as a place to come and invest. This is partly down to our open, responsive and business-friendly approach. We remain committed to this, to developing Welsh business and to working with new partners to draw in investment.”