Welsh Marine Energy summit offers new promise

Marinet member, Max Wallis, reports 3rd February 2019:

There is a long-overdue switch by the Welsh Government. Instead of viewing wave and tidal energy as minor, and then chasing the over-hyped and over-costly Swansea Tidal Lagoon, they now see the Welsh marine resource as a “key strand of a sustainable, renewable energy future and an excellent, new economic opportunity”. This view was expressed by Mark Drakeford at the Welsh Government’s Marine Energy Summit 31st January.

Report at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-39638838

Wales now has two wave and tidal stream Demonstration Zones, plus seabed agreements in place for three separate wave and tidal stream projects.

There’s €100 million of EU structural funding prioritised for marine energy in Wales over the next 5 years; yet the Welsh Government offered little until, suddenly, £200 million was found for the defunct Swansea Tidal Lagoon.

The latest favourite is Minesto’s subsea “kites” to be positioned in the tidal stream off Holyhead.

The company is already manufacturing these for the Hebrides. The Welsh Government is talking of a second stage of support to supplement EU funding for a Holyhead deployment of 120 kites @ £160million. In 2017 Minesto aimed for 20 of the 0.5MW kites. However trialling the first kite turned out so positive that they’re bidding for 120 kites.

 


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