The UK’s climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced that South West England will soon be home to the country’s first Marine Energy Park. The park, once completed, will stretch from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly and will have the potential to generate 27 gigawatts of power from the waves and tides of the area by 2050 – the same amount of power generated by 8 coal-fired plants. The project will draw on public and private resources with a huge boost from the world’s leading wave energy research and development facilities located along the future Marine Energy Park’s coastline.
During his visit, the Minister launched the South West Marine Energy Park Prospectus which outlines how the region’s public and private sector will work together with the government and other key national bodies such as the Crown Estate.
In the past seven years £100 million has been invested in the south west marine energy industry creating world leading research and demonstration facilities. Such investment has supported the development of the largest consented area for marine technologies in the world at Cornwall’s Wave Hub, the Fab–Test nursery site at Falmouth, the new marine science building at Plymouth and globally–leading research facilities at Exeter University and the National Composites Centre at Bristol.
To help develop and commercialise wave and tidal technology, it is claimed that the UK has the most comprehensive marine energy support programme in the world. This provides help from the earliest stages of university research through to demonstration and roll-out under the Renewables Obligation.
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