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Momentum building for the Welsh marine energy sector

Wales is home to more marine energy projects, with a growing number of international developers showing an active interest in developing projects in Welsh waters.

Attracted initially by Wales’ excellent wave and tidal stream resource, the announcement of two marine energy Demonstration Zones and the allocation of €100.4 million of EU Structural Funds prioritised by the Welsh Government for marine energy have served to cement Wales in the minds of developers as one of the preferred locations for marine energy development on a worldwide scale.

In recent months, Marine Energy Pembrokeshire, a key organisation supporting the development of the wave and tidal industry working across Wales has welcomed world leading developers from Singapore, Australia, Canada, America, Ireland, and Sweden to its meetings held quarterly in Cardiff, bringing the total number of companies interested in Welsh waters to 22. These meetings act as a forum for bringing industry and supply chain companies together with government and academia to share best practice and to collaborate on operational solutions.

Wave energy

Swansea based Marine Power Systems (MPS) has developed the WaveSub technology. The 1:4 scale device is on track to be constructed and commissioned in Milford Haven in 2016, with results informing the full-scale version that will be developed and tested in the South Pembrokeshire Wave Demonstration Zone. Marine Power Systems will then deploy its first 30MW farm.

A number of international wave developers visiting Pembrokeshire with a keen interest in developing projects in the South Pembrokeshire Wave Demonstration Zone (being developed by Wave Hub) have also been impressed with the facilities on offer at Pembroke Port along with the presence of supply chain companies such as Mainstay Marine Solutions (formerly Mustang Marine), Ledwoods and Williams Shipping, all with expertise in the marine and energy industries.

Tidal energy

Cardiff-based tidal stream technology company, Tidal Energy Limited (TEL), has announced revised plans for the deployment of its full-scale tidal energy generator in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire. The Ramsey Sound scheme is considered to be the first private marine project to be developed in Wales.

In North Wales, Swedish marine energy company Minesto has secured €13m of EU funds through the Welsh Government to support roll out of its tidal kite technology. The investment will help to establish a Minesto UK headquarters in North Wales and support commissioning of “the first commercial Deep Green project”.


All of this planned activity and present work is having a positive impact upon the economy in Wales. A study carried out by MEP in 2015 indicated that in terms of total investment to date, wave and tidal technology developers have already spent over £34.5 million and have directly created 99 person years of employment so far. And potential benefits could be greater still. Regeneris Consulting and the Welsh Economy Research Unit at Cardiff Business School estimates that the wave and tidal industry could support anywhere between 70m and 840m of Gross Value Added (GVA) to Wales.


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Wave and tidal energy