Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford met with cross section of the marine energy industry in Pembrokeshire yesterday, and has committed to making Wales a centre of emerging marine energy technologies.
He visited Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum (PCF), the organisation behind Marine Energy Wales, at its Pembroke Dock headquarters, with the purpose to further understand the Welsh sector’s requirements for seizing the marine renewable energy opportunity.
In the meeting, Marine Energy Wales offered the sector a chance to discuss with the First Minister what needs to be put in place to successfully deliver marine renewables in Wales.
The aim is to make the region a global leader in marine renewable energy and ensure a viable future for the industry. The opportunity, if seized, will provide thousands of jobs, multiple gigawatts of clean energy, and opportunities to export technology and expertise globally.
There is excitement around four key renewable technologies that can be deployed to Welsh waters, some with scheduled deployments in the coming years: tidal stream, tidal range, wave and floating offshore wind.
The First Minister was presented with the State of the Sector Report, an annual report published by Marine Energy Wales presenting data on the historic and future socioeconomic benefits delivered by the Welsh marine energy sector.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“I am pleased to have met Marine Energy Wales and thank them for the work they do to support the development of the sector here in Wales.
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.”
Marine renewable energy is set to play an indispensable role in securing our energy future, and will help achieve the 2050 Net Zero target. It will also offer sustainable, local, highly skilled jobs. We need a concerted focus of effort to ensure we can achieve the best local benefit for Wales.
The minister also made clear that he is very alert to the challenges of the consenting regime, outlining a desire to deliver an enabling, problem-solving consenting regimes. He noted that a willingness from industry to share data will be critical to working together to create a system designed to make things happen rather than stop them from happening.
Jetske Germing, Managing Director of Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum stated:
‘We realise the importance of our role in facilitating collaborative approaches between stakeholders to achieve sustainable marine energy, for the benefit of our communities’.