Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP) held its 7th annual industry seminar in Milford Haven during which the progress to date and future potential of marine energy sector in Wales was highlighted by the government officials and leading industry players.
The event chaired by Martin Murphy, Managing Director of Tidal Energy Ltd, attracted over 170 delegates from around the world.
A supportive and powerful keynote address was delivered by Edwina Hart, Wales’ Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, who said:
“As Wales pushes ahead in the marine energy sector and many of the world’s leading developers choose to come here, there is a real opportunity for Pembrokeshire. In September 2015, I announced the setting up of a Marine Energy Task and Finish Group to provide advice on a sustainable approach to deliver jobs, growth and wealth from the emerging marine energy sector. I am pleased to say that I have now received, and am currently considering, the summary report and recommendations.
“The Welsh Government is committed to marine energy and have secured £74 million of EU funds to invest in innovative projects, including £2 million of EU funds for Marine Power Systems’ WaveSub device that will harness energy from ocean waves off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Wales has the potential to be a world-leader in the marine energy market and Pembrokeshire is well-placed to take advantage of that.”
Commenting on the progress the organisation made since its inception in 2010, David Jones, MEP Project Director, said: “With €100.4 million of EU structural funding prioritised for marine energy in Wales over the next 5 years, two wave and tidal stream Demonstration Zones, seabed agreements in place for 4 separate tidal projects and a number of proposals for tidal range projects, the country is well placed to play a leading role in the marine energy sector.”
Other speakers included Martin Murphy of Tidal Energy Ltd who provided an insight into the installation of Wales’ first tidal stream device in December 2015 and the company’s next steps in their project development.
Updates from other Welsh based companies included Marine Power Systems who will be building its quarter scale wave device at Pembroke Port in 2016, Tidal Lagoon Power on the global leading tidal range plans for Swansea and beyond, and Minesto who will be basing their UK headquarters in Anglesey to develop their Deep Green project, MEP’s press release reads.
Other discussions from industry leaders working across the UK covered covered a diverse range of topics including marine mammals, insurance risk, innovative transmission solutions, O&M, legal issues and setting up local supply chains.
Progress and future plans on both of Wales’ Demonstration Zones was provided by the third party managers, Morlais Marine Energy and Wave Hub, with the Port of Milford Haven presenting on how they will continue to support the sector moving forwards.
The seminar was supported by the Welsh Government, Port of Milford Haven, Burges Salmon LLP, Marine Space and Morlais Marine Energy.