First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has welcomed an announcement by the Crown Estate which supports the Welsh Government’s vision of developing a thriving marine renewable energy industry in Wales.
The Crown Estate has announced the successful Third Party Managers of two areas of water off the Welsh coast designated for testing and demonstrating wave and tidal energy projects, along with development rights for a fourth tidal stream project in Wales. Wave Hub has been announced as the successful manager of the South Pembrokeshire wave site, while Menter Môn will manage the West Anglesey tidal site. Minesto have successfully gained the development rights for a tidal site off Holyhead Deep.
Wave Hub and Menter Môn will be responsible for site management and for subletting areas within the zones. They may also undertake preparatory activity, such as survey work or the installation of infrastructure, to increase the sites’ attractiveness to developers.
Speaking following the Crown Estate’s announcement, the First Minister said:
“The energetic waters off our coast are ideal for marine renewable energy projects. Our ports, supply-chain infrastructure and grid infrastructure also put us in an enviable position for developing a thriving marine energy market, both as a significant generator and as an exporter of marine energy knowledge, technologies and services.
“The Welsh Government is committed to unlocking this potential and putting Wales firmly on the marine energy industry’s global map. The benefits for Wales could be significant – not only for industrial and economic regeneration, but also in terms of reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable energy.
“The announcement is an important step which helps to define Wales as a key location for marine energy deployment and leads the way for commercial renewable energy ventures. Not only is it great news for Minesto, Wave Hub and Menter Môn, it is also great news for marine energy in Wales and for the wider Welsh economy. “
Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate said:
“By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy.
“This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.”
The Crown Estate has also confirmed its plans to run a leasing process for projects that capture tidal range energy in England and Wales. This will start later in summer 2014.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: Wikimedia