Wales is quickly becoming a global leader in the marine energy sector and the establishment of a new body Marine Energy Wales will drive forward the development of this new industry.
A growing number of world leading technology developers are capitalising on Wales’ significant marine renewable energy potential. With €100.4 million of EU Structural Funds dedicated to marine energy, two Demonstration Zones, a skilled and experienced supply chain and significant support from Welsh Government, Wales could soon lead the world as a significant generator of marine energy and, just as importantly, as an exporter of knowledge, technologies and services. Marine Energy Wales will bring the industry together, encouraging collaboration and providing support to continue this forward momentum.
The announcement was made at the Ocean Energy Europe conference in Brussels this week to an audience of hundreds of industry professionals.
Welsh Government is committed to developing the marine energy sector and supporting Marine Energy Wales and will continue to bring together expertise across government, industry and academia to focus on the delivery of projects in Welsh waters.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said: “The formation of this pan-Wales body to drive forward the industry and encourage collaboration between all the interested parties is very timely and very welcome. The renewable marine energy sector has real potential for Wales which is a key location for the development and deployment of new innovative technologies. We need to ensure we are in pole position to maximise these opportunities, attract investment and create jobs and Marine Energy Wales has an important role to play in helping us achieve this.”
Marine Energy Wales has evolved from the success of Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP) which was established in 2010. Over the last 6 years MEP has provided a unique collaborative approach to support the sustainable development of the sector. There are now 90 working group members including technology developers, supply chain companies, academia and statutory bodies. MEP has been increasingly recognised as the primary vehicle for national co-ordination and represents the sector on a number of national and international stages. The transition to Marine Energy Wales is therefore a natural progression and formalises MEP’s pan-Wales work.
David Jones, Project Director of Marine Energy Wales said, “Since developing Marine Energy Pembrokeshire in 2010 we have seen interest in marine renewable energy in Wales grow substantially. Our industry led working group has grown from 6 original members to 90, including over 25 world leading technology developers. Feedback from the sector was for us to create Marine Energy Wales, and this was also a recommendation from a recent Ministerial marine energy group. We are looking forward to continuing with our collaborative approach, supporting the development of Wales’ Demonstration Zones and encouraging the continued growth of the sector.”
The aim of Marine Energy Wales will be to create a thriving and diverse sustainable marine energy industry which will make a significant contribution to a low carbon economy. The benefits of this industry will be felt throughout the entire supply chain creating green sustainable jobs, growth and skills for Wales. MEP will continue with a regional focus on Pembrokeshire, alongside Morlais in Anglesey.
The Marine Energy Wales board is industry led with current representatives including Carnegie, Marine Power Systems, Minesto, Morlais, Nova Innovation, Tidal Lagoon Power and Wave Hub.
For more information visit: www.marineenergywales.co.uk