A report commissioned by the UK Government published this month confirms the potential significant economic benefits of tidal stream energy. As a key site for tidal energy generation, Anglesey is set to become one of the main players in this field, and the only site in the UK to progress to development phase.
According to the report published by The ORE Catapult, marine energy industries have the potential to provide a major jobs boost as well as achieve significant reduction in carbon emissions and costs.
Third sector enterprise agency, Menter Môn recognised this potential as far back as 2014, securing the lease for the Anglesey development zone and setting up Morlais Marine Energy.
With the Morlais project now well underway Menter Môn has recently put an experienced project team in place to progress consent and development for the Anglesey zone. The team is hopeful that the report findings will further strengthen the project’s prospects for future revenue support.
The scheme, supported by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund, has also secured funding for consent and development from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Isle of Anglesey County Council and turbine developers. The next step for Menter Môn is to attract further investment to build the infrastructure for the Morlais zone and to undertake consultation.
Seven international developers are already on board with Morlais from countries including the Netherlands, Ireland and as far afield as the USA and Canada.
Dafydd Gruffydd is Managing Director at Menter Môn, he said: “We welcome the report findings – it’s good news for Anglesey and Morlais which has the potential to be one of the world’s leading projects in marine energy. The main driver for us at Menter Môn is to secure both economic and community benefits for the area. This is key to our values as an organisation, and is what lies behind our vision for Morlais.”
John Idris Jones is Project Director with Morlais, he said: “This report gives a positive outlook for the development of a new industry on the island and is to be welcomed as an important milestone for the industry. Tidal energy is an opportunity we must not let slip – and we are uniquely placed to ensure Anglesey and the wider region plays a global role in this industry”.
The ORE Catapult report will now be passed to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as the Scottish and Welsh Governments, where it is hoped it will pave the way for greater government support, including much needed revenue support in the future.