The Marine Energy Council (MEC), alongside a cross section of the marine energy industry, met with the First Minister to discuss the potential of marine energy in Wales, and how this can be unlocked.
The Welsh Government has demonstrated its commitment to the sector in March 2022 through providing £31m of funding to the Morlais Infrastructure project to further the development of tidal power generation technologies by providing grid connectivity.
Wales has a fantastic natural resource in terms of wave and tidal, with 456MW of marine energy sites already leased and an additional 3.4GW of potential.
The results of the recent Contract for Difference (CfD) scheme are an important first step in realising this potential, with Magallanes Renovables successfully bidding in a 5.5MW project in Anglesey. Magallanes are a MEC-member and Spanish based renewable energy company, which demonstrates the international interest and investment that can be secured through governments setting clear support for the marine energy industry.
In the meeting with the First Minister the need for increased support to accelerate delivery of the marine energy industry was highlighted, which could deliver thousands of jobs, create supply chains and position Wales to benefit from an industry forecast to be worth £76bn by 2050.
Marine Energy Wales presented the First Minister with its State of the Sector Report during the meeting which sets out the economic benefits for Wales in supporting marine energy.
We are committed to making Wales a centre of emerging marine energy technologies as set out in our programme for Government and have set up a Marine Energy Programme to deliver on this commitment.
It is also vital that the UK Government fully supports the industry through its policies, to ensure that we can maximise the opportunities that are available.
It was great to meet with the First Minister to discuss how industry can work with government to deliver on Wales’ marine energy potential. The CfD scheme will deliver a fantastic tidal stream project in Anglesey, and this is an important first step in securing the multifaceted benefits of marine energy for Wales.
The Welsh Government has the policy levers to accelerate this transition, gain first-mover advantage and position Wales to be an international leader in marine energy. I thank the First Minister for his time and support for the sector in delivering this goal.