Marine Energy Wales (MEW) and the UK Marine Energy Council (MEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining and enhancing their collaborative efforts to support the marine industry in Wales and the wider UK.
Both organisations are committed to realising Wales and the wider UK’s potential and supporting marine energy, playing a key role in a secure, cost-effective transition to Net Zero.
It is hoped this recently signed agreement can help recognise opportunities for mutual support and areas of collaboration, particularly around tidal stream and wave energy development.
Tidal stream technology harnesses the energy from the gravitational relationship between the Moon, Sun and Earth. It is an entirely predictable renewable energy resource which has already delivered over 70GWh of electricity to the grid in the UK – the equivalent of powering over 25,000 homes for a year. The latest renewable auction saw four successful projects secured in Wales, which is now on track to have over 25MW of tidal stream capacity deployed by 2028.
Wave energy is thought to be the world’s largest untapped source of energy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the potential annual global production stands at 29,500 TWh; this could provide clean electricity for over 500 million homes. In Wales, companies like Bombora and Marine Power Systems are developing powerful wave energy converters and exploring the co-location of wave and wind devices.
The recent success for tidal projects in the latest Contracts for Difference (AR5) auction round brings a renewed sense of optimism for the technology, but organisations like MEW and the MEC will continue to call on governments to commit to ongoing, persistent and predictable revenue support to enable the industry to thrive.
MEW & MEC is urging the government to maintain its ring-fenced funding pot for tidal energy technologies in future auction rounds.
In signing this agreement, MEW and MEC are pledging to work together to:
Build the case for the deployment of renewables in Wales and the UK by working to influence stakeholders and remove or reduce barriers for developers.
Support the growth of a healthy supply chain which can support all renewable energy activities.
Stage events that raise the profile of and attract investment to Wales, encouraging business development, political engagement and networking.
Engage to support an enabling policy environment.
Tom Hill, Programme Manager, Marine Energy Wales said: "We have worked alongside the MEC for many years and appreciate the immense efforts they put in to ensure the political landscape is fit for the marine renewables sector.
This agreement cements our relationship and will ensure both organisations continue to operate with maximum impact and aligned messaging."
Richard Arnold, Policy Director, Marine Energy Council said "Wales has tremendous marine energy potential. The right policy environment will help harness this potential, create green jobs and supply chains, and position Wales to export its technology and expertise around the world.
Collaboration between industry and the UK and Welsh Governments will be key in delivering Wales’ 6GW of marine energy capacity and net zero ambitions.
Marine Energy Wales has been at the forefront of these efforts, and I look forward working together to expediate deployment of marine energy technologies."