The South West marine energy industry has welcomed the announcement by the Crown Estate that it is to begin an industry engagement exercise to chart future development plans for wave and tidal energy around the coast of the UK, including the South West of England.Speaking on behalf of the South West Marine Energy Park (MEP), Johnny Gowdy said: “We have been engaged in very constructive discussions with the Crown Estate for some months, looking at the resource potential of the South West, and we are very keen to ensure that the region features prominently in the Crown Estate’s future development plans.”
The last study of offshore energy resources in the South West was completed in 2010, and identified a potential 2,400 MW of wave and tidal stream energy which could be developed in the period up to 2030. The principle areas of development are likely to be off the North Cornwall coast, Isles of Scilly and south of the Lizard peninsula for wave energy, while tidal energy resources are concentrated off the North Devon/Somerset coast in the Bristol Channel and a number of smaller sites in the English Channel (see map below).
Johnny Gowdy added: “We do not expect to see large scale projects in the South West until later in the decade, but there are significant opportunities for smaller projects of 10-30MW to be deployed quite quickly taking advantage of facilities at the Wave Hub, and our relatively good port infrastructure, supply chain and grid connectivity. We hope the industry engagement exercise which the Crown Estate has launched will tease out exactly where these opportunities lie and how quickly they can be developed.”
South West MEP board member and Wave Hub general manager Claire Gibson said: “This is an important initiative to gather industry views, and we will be working closely with our industry colleagues to help the Crown Estate produce what we hope will be a very clear and credible development plan for the sector.”
The industry engagement takes the form of a questionnaire, which is available from the Crown Estate website with responses due back by 21st September. While the engagement exercise is aimed principally at the industry, it is also open to other organisations with an interest in marine energy to contribute.
Today’s announcement by the Crown Estate follows the news reported yesterday that the Government has confirmed the increase in the market incentives for new wave and tidal technologies, for projects less than 30 MW installed before spring 2017, bringing the South West up to the same level of support previously enjoyed by Scotland.
- Ends -
Notes to Editors
Market incentives for wave and tidal energy increased.
Finance boost for South West Marine Energy
Today’s announcement by the Crown Estate follows the news reported yesterday that the Government has confirmed the increase in the market incentives for new wave and tidal technologies, for projects less than 30 MW installed before spring 2017. This incentive package, which is designed to jump start the marine energy sector, means that small commercial projects deployed in UK waters, including the south west, will now receive over five times the incentive provided for onshore wind.
Johnny Gowdy, programme director at Regen SW says; “This is great news for the emerging marine energy industry and for the south west in particular. Coming alongside the launch of the South West Marine Energy Park (MEP), we are now in a very good position to attract industry and investors to take advantage of our fantastic energy resources, supply chain, demonstration and research facilities and also port and grid infrastructure”.
“These early, small scale projects will be critical for the industry’s future success, and it’s for this reason that demonstration facilities such as Wave Hub, off the North Cornish coast are so important. The challenge now is to get technology in the water as quickly as possible. The South West MEP and its partners will be working closely with the Crown Estate, Marine Management Organisation and potential developers to support Wave Hub and bring forward further projects before the 2017 deadline.”
South West Resource Assessment
The ORRAD study completed in 2010 reviewed the developable offshore wind, wave and tidal resource which could be developed around the South West coast by 2030. The report concluded that 9.2 GW of offshore energy capacity could be developed including 6.9 GW of offshore wind, 1.2 GW of wave energy and 1.1 GW of tidal stream. The full report can be found at http://www.regensw.co.uk/projects/offshore-renewables/offshore-supply-chain/orrad-south-west-economic-impact-assessment
About the South West Marine Energy Park
The South West was designated as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park in January 2012. The South West MEP’s aim is to provide a focus for investment, technology development and industry to accelerate the commercial deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy technologies. The South West MEP partnership now consists of over 80 organisations in the private sector, research organisations, universities and public bodies. For more details about the South West MEP please download the prospectus at http://www.regensw.co.uk/projects/offshore-renewables/marine-energy-/marine-energy-parks
About Regen SW
Regen SW is a leading independent, not-for-profit, centre of expertise in sustainable energy. Its mission is to enable business, local authorities, communities and other organisations to deliver ground-breaking renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with thriving local supply chains.
About Wave Hub
Wave Hub consists of a giant ‘socket’ on the seabed connected to the national grid onshore by an underwater cable, into which wave energy devices can be ‘plugged’ and tested on a scale not seen anywhere before. The project has four berths available and a capacity of 20MW, equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7,000 homes.
- Wave Hub is publicly-owned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Limited, based in Hayle, Cornwall, to manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf.
- Wave Hub is a £30 million construction project funded with £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £13.5 million from the UK Government.
- Wave Hub is a partner in the South West Marine Energy Park.
- Follow Wave Hub on Twitter @wavehub, or visit www.wavehub.co.uk
To interview Johnny Gowdy and for more information about the South West Marine Energy Park please contact Regen SW on 01392 494 399 or email Katrina Jackson email@example.com
To interview Claire Gibson and for more information about Wave Hub please contact Jason Clark at DCA Public Relations 01208-77900, mobile 07980-834368, firstname.lastname@example.org