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South West England sets out its marine energy ambition

South West England’s marine energy sector will have a big presence at All Energy, the UK’s largest renewable energy conference which will be held in Glasgow on 6th and 7th May.

As well as taking a pavilion to showcase south west based companies and research facilities, the conference will be used to launch a new industry report which sets out South West England’s ambition for the marine and offshore energy sector to 2030.

The “outlook and statement of ambition” paper, produced by the South West Marine Energy Park partnership sets out the region's long term ambition to deploy wave, tidal and offshore wind projects and to remain as a centre for innovation and investment in marine energy technology.

Although we recognise that the marine energy industry is still in a period of technology development we feel that the time is right to restate our commitment to the sector and highlight our ambition both to create clean energy and to position South West England as a key part of the global industry. Clearly there is uncertainty about the rate of deployment for all new technologies but our intention is to present a positive but realistic assessment of what could be achieved in the next decade. This will hopefully help to secure further investment in the sector and to encourage national and regional decision makers to give marine energy their full backing.

Johnny Gowdy, director of Regen SW

Industry chair of the South West Marine Energy Park, Peter Kydd, highlighted that although the south west is a natural home for marine energy, the delivery of the long term ambition will require further investment and a close collaboration between both regional and national partners. 

The South West’s marine energy potential is significant both in terms of resource and supply chain capabilities. This important paper sets out the South West’s ambition, and its vision for the future on which we look forward to working pro-actively with our partners and stakeholders.

Peter Kydd, chair of the South West Marine Energy Park

Highlights in the statement of ambition include:

  • Successful deployment of demonstration arrays at Wave Hub leading to the first commercial wave farms by 2025, and 300-500 MW by 2030 rising to 1-2 GW in the following decade
  • Pilot tidal stream arrays and demonstration projects at the North Devon Demonstration Zone and sites in the Bristol Channel and off Portland leading to 100-200 MW by 2030
  • Potentially two tidal range lagoons off Somerset by 2030 with a capacity of up to 4 GW
  • The expansion of the South West’s core marine capability into new markets and the application of “BlueTech” technologies and the marine sciences
  • Creation of high value jobs in marine energy from circa 450 today to 3000 by 2030 plus significant additional jobs in construction and the wider marine industries
  • To position South West England as a key part of the global marine energy sector collaborating with other UK and European regions

Marine energy features strongly in the strategic economic plans of the region's Local Enterprise Partnerships LEP’s) and the publication of this ambition paper gives a further indication of the level of support investors in marine energy can expect to receive from regional partners.  

The next step is to turn these bold statements into concrete actions backed by a programme of investment and sector development. In Bristol, Cornwall and Plymouth that is already happening with a number of initiatives ranging from the development of infrastructure at Plymouth South Yard to the targeting of European regional funding to accelerate marine energy technology demonstration and deployment in Cornwall and in the Bristol Channel.

Johnny Gowdy, director of Regen SW

Download the Statement of Ambition below