Innovative clean-tech companies based in Wales are highlighted in a new report on wave and tidal energy published today, at the marine power industry’s biggest annual gathering in the UK.
The new report “Ocean Energy Race”, calls for wave and tidal power to be included in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It highlights the latest developments in this cutting-edge sector and demonstrates the value of the marine energy industry to the UK in terms of regional economic growth – providing jobs and attracting millions of pounds in investment. The report features four “clusters” across the UK which are benefitting most from marine investment, including Wales, alongside the Scottish Highland and Islands, the South West of England, the Isle of Wight and the Solent.
Among the companies in the spotlight from Wales is Minesto which has devised an innovative underwater tidal kite device. Tata’s Port Talbot steel plant provided the steel for Scotrenewables’ 2-megawatt tidal stream turbine – one of the biggest in the world.
Wave Hub is developing a large demonstration zone off the coast of Pembrokeshire. The Port of Milford Haven is providing test sites, and devices are being made there. The role of researchers at the Universities of Bangor and Swansea is also highlighted.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said:
“The UK is the global leader in wave and tidal energy. This is a cutting-edge industry creating much-needed jobs in Wales. It will grow worldwide with opportunities to export our technology across the globe – from the US to Taiwan, and right across Europe to South East Asia. But other countries, such as China and Canada, are eyeing our innovative industry enviously, seeking to capitalise on the hard-won progress already made in British waters. We don’t want our groundwork to lead to their success. The UK must win the international Ocean Energy Race so that this country can reap the economic benefits of marine energy. It’s vital that the Government recognises that wave and tidal power is transforming coastal communities around the UK, including those in Wales. Marine energy can become a key modern industrial sector. To make this happen, we’re urging Ministers to include wave and tidal power in their Industrial Strategy. We can deliver fresh energy infrastructure on a massive scale, building on Britain’s proud maritime tradition and creating a new clean-tech energy sector”.