The British Climate Change Minister Greg Barker named the South West of England as home for the UK’s first Marine Energy Park on a visit to Bristol today.
The South West Marine Energy Park will stretch from Bristol through to Cornwall and as far as the Isles of Scilly, which, to those of you (like me), who don’t live in the UK, looks like this:
“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,” Barker said.
The project will bring together the national and local government, along with Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, and members of industry including Cornwall’s Wave Hub. Their aim will be to speed up the progress of marine power development.
Why the focus on wave power?
Because, in the UK, they have the potential to generate up to 27 gigawatts of power by 2050! That’s the equivalent of 8 coal-fired power stations, without the emissions.
“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,” said Barker.
The Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Vivien Pengelly, said:
“The opportunity for growth and increased commercialisation in marine renewable energy, which underpins the ethos of the South West Marine Energy Park, represents a major opportunity to help Plymouth’s economy generate investment and jobs. Plymouth has world – class research and development expertise in this field along with a strong marine business base and advanced manufacturing sector and looks forward to working closely with its private and public sector partners to make the South West Marine Energy Park a success.”
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