Marine renewables roadmap launched for Cornwall
The commercialisation of marine energy generation in the UK has been made clearer with the development of a 'renewables roadmap' for the Cornish peninsula region.
The Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Roadmap sets out how the public and private sector can work together to deliver the next steps to establish 'commercial-scale' wave energy projects off the coast of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, by the year 2025.
According to the Roadmap, more than 100 new businesses and 700 'high-value' jobs would be created by the development of such projects, but up to £40m worth of additional funding will be needed to consolidate the previous £100m invested in the south west region's marine energy sector.
DEFRA Minister of State George Eustice welcomed the launch of the Roadmap, which was launched by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (C&IoS LEP), Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly last week.
Eustice said: "I have long been a supporter of the marine renewables industry in the region and will continue to be championing the role marine renewables has to play in the renewables mix as we seek to drive growth in the UK's renewable sector."
The MRE Roadmap clearly outlines ambitions to achieve wave energy commercialisation by 2025, through investing in three key development areas: -
- Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) - supporting industry-led R&D with local Universities and HE Colleges
- Demonstration and pre-commercialisation - encourage pre commercial array scale and 'seed' the development of 'commercial scale' projects (including investment in enabling infrastructure)
- Commercialisation and market development - identifying suitable funding mechanisms to de-risk private sector investment.
C&IoS LEP chaid Chris Pomfret said: "Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are blessed with some of the best wave and offshore wind resources in the UK. So investing in marine renewables energy to secure our low-carbon future not only makes long term economic sense, but will help to secure the continued growth of this sector.
"Our aim is to smooth the path to commercialisation for marine renewable energy developers and ensure that we maintain a significant competitive advantage in a sector that has enormous potential for our region."
Last year, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) announced the need for £200m investment to drive the UK wave industry along a path to commercial readiness. Just over £100m has been invested in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly so far, but the Roadmap indicates that the EU Structural and Investment Fund (EUSIF) could provide further support for the region's marine energy sector with the potential for a further £30-£40m worth of investment funding.
To date, Scotland has announced £16m in funding towards MRE and Wales has announced commitment of £80m investment.
In related wave energy news, HiWave - a wave-power breakthrough developed by CorPower Ocean and nurtured by KIC InnoEnergy's Highway Programme - has today (26 May) secured in excess of €2m of investment from the Swedish Energy Agency. The funds will be used to run tests in the torrent Atlantic ocean off the coast of Scotland.