South-west England to be named the UK’s first marine energy park
The PowerBuoy wave energy converter, which is to be used as part of the Wave Hub project, will see a giant National Grid-connected socket built on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall. Photograph: Handout/PA
The south-west of England is to be named as the UK’s first marine energy park.
The announcement will be made today by climate change minister Greg Barker during a visit to Bristol.
The South West Marine Energy Park will stretch from Bristol to Cornwall and as far as the Isles of Scilly.
The announcement establishes a partnership in the region between national and local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and industry, including Cornwall’s Wave Hub.
The aim of the partnership will be to speed up the progress of marine power development.
Energy from the waves or tides has the potential to generate up to 27GW of power in the UK alone by 2050 – equivalent to the power generated from eight coal-fired power stations.
Barker is expected to say: “This is a real milestone for the marine industry and for the south-west region in securing its place in renewables history as the first official marine energy park.
“The south-west can build on its existing unique mix of renewable energy resource and home-grown academic, technical and industrial expertise.
“Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15bn to the economy to 2050.
“The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power, so we should capitalise on this leadership to make marine power a real contender in the future energy market.”
Chris Ridgers, cabinet member for economy at Cornwall council, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Cornwall’s marine energy programme is reinforced by more than a thousand years of industrial heritage.
“The land and the sea have provided the foundation of Cornish entrepreneurship in engineering and innovation, recognised across the world.
Source: Press Association / The Guardian