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South West MPs support marine energy industry’s call for role in Government’s Industrial Strategy

Innovative clean-tech companies based in the South West of England 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, and the South West is one of these, alongside Wales, Isle of Wight and the Solent, and the Highland and Islands of Scotland.

Among the companies in the spotlight from the South West is Wave Hub in Cornwall - the largest, most advanced marine energy site in the world. A&P Falmouth Docks is planning for a £10m growth in marine renewables over the next 5 years. The Universities of Exeter and Plymouth are doing world-leading research work in the development of marine energy, working with local companies.

Three MPs from the region are speaking at the event, RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Energy Conference in London: George Eustice, the Conservative MP for Camborne, Redruth & Hayle, Richard Graham, the Conservative MP for Gloucester, who’s also Chair of the Marine Energy & Tidal Lagoons All-Party Parliamentary Group, and James Heappey, the Conservative MP for Wells. 

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 Cornwall and throughout the South West of England. 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 the South West. 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”.  

Story issued by Renewable UK.

A copy of the Ocean Energy Race Document can be downloaded below.