Marine Energy Wales has released a new report at its annual conference, revealing that £96.2 million has been invested into the Welsh economy.
The new ‘State of the Sector’ report outlines findings from a survey carried out by the Welsh industry body, and provides an update on a previous report published in 2017, outlining developments taking place in Welsh waters.
The report covers wave, tidal stream and tidal range sectors across Wales and demonstrates that marine energy is fast becoming a dynamic and exciting part of the Welsh economy.
The report finds that there has been an increase of £27.9 million worth of investment in Wales over the last 2 years, a £50.8 million increase since 2015. The sector is playing a vital role in attracting inward investment for Wales, and is spurring low carbon, economic growth in coastal regions across the country.
There are currently 16 marine energy developers actively progressing projects in Wales and strategic developments are taking place across the country to ensure that infrastructure, testing and demonstration facilities are in place to support the sector.
Wales has the potential to establish an early mover advantage in an export market worth an estimated £76 billion by 2050, exporting marine energy technologies, skills, knowledge and intellectual property across the globe. The Welsh supply chain has the capability and ambition to deliver marine energy projects, and the sector is providing diversification opportunities to encourage supply chain resilience, Marine Energy Wales wrote.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said: “Wales’ natural resources place us in a unique position to harness the significant potential of marine energy. This report clearly demonstrates how the sector is already bringing wide-ranging economic and environmental benefits.
“I’m pleased Welsh Government support has resulted in international inward investment for marine energy projects, ensuring sustainable economic opportunities in coastal areas of Wales.
“Wales has the potential to achieve even more and I am frustrated at the missed opportunities caused by the UK Government’s wilful disinterest in the development of marine energy projects in Wales. We continue to press it to rethink its energy policy to allow Wales to provide the mix of renewable energy required to benefit our communities.”
David Jones, project director of Marine Energy Wales added: “This report clearly demonstrates the positive impacts marine energy is having in Wales, particularly in coastal regions such as Anglesey and Pembrokeshire that are most in need of economic regeneration. It is pleasing to see that Wales is playing an important role in keeping the UK at the forefront of this global low carbon innovative sector.”