Marine Energy Seminar Highlights Increased Momentum for Industry in Wales

21 March 2016

MEP Press Release

Last week, Marine Energy Pembrokeshire held its 7th annual industry seminar at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven. 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, MBE AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport who highlighted not only the progress made to date but also the huge future potential for Wales. The Minister also included details of an industry led Marine Energy Task and Finish Group and provided an overview of the initial findings and recommendations that will be used to assist Wales in delivering on this significant opportunity.

Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart 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.”

Marine Energy Pembrokeshire Project Director, David Jones, reviewed the progress that the organisation had made in supporting the marine energy sector in Wales since its inception in 2010 highlighting how Pembrokeshire and Wales has a unique opportunity to be part of a new exciting low carbon industry. “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 MPS who will be building their 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.

A lessons learnt panel from industry leads working across the UK 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.

Alec Don, Chief Executive, Port of Milford Haven, stated, “Supporting companies with skills in the development of technologies and Intellectual Property is central to the Port’s strategy to promote a thriving marine renewable energy industry in the region. This year we have definitely seen a gathered momentum for the industry in Wales and we hope to see some additional scaled devices developed and deployed in the near future.”
The Seminar was followed by a marine energy networking dinner which attracted over 80 leaders in the sector and the following day, a site visit to the Tidal Energy Ltd deployment site, power conversion facility and the turbine control and data monitoring centre.

Martin Murphy, MD of Tidal Energy Ltd and Chair of Marine Energy Pembrokeshire summed up the two days in Pembrokeshire, “We were delighted to have a record number of attendees from across Wales, the UK and Europe, with some delegates travelling from the U.S. to be involved in the important industry discussion panels. The attendance is a testament to Wales’ potential and importance for the industry moving forward. We have a huge opportunity to harness our natural resources and showcase our home-grown supply chain’s skills by delivering sustainable energy production and in the future exporting our expertise.”

The Seminar was supported by The Welsh Government, Port of Milford Haven, Burges Salmon LLP, Marine Space and Morlais Marine Energy.

Photo courtesy of Marine Energy Pembrokeshire

 

Martin Murphy MD of Tidal Energy Ltd and Chair of MEP at the MEP Seminar
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