The marine renewable energy industry in the south-west of England has received a considerable boost, with £535,000 committed for a number of projects in the area.
The newly funded projects include the Offshore Renewables Delivery Programme (ORDP), a £360,000 partnership between Cornwall Council and Plymouth University, with a further £50,000 coming from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership’s Regional Growth Fund.
Some £103,895 will also go to a project secured by aiming to research, co-ordinate and grow supply chain and marketing opportunities for the marine renewables sectors of Cornwall and, further afield, France.
Another, which will research the skills gaps, capacity and future requirements of the growing marine renewable energy sector in Cornwall, will be funded with £72,000.
“Marine renewable energy is a global market opportunity for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and this latest suite of investments will support the sector’s growth ambitions and build on the considerable assets we already have in the region”, said Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
“Our aim is to smooth the path to commercialisation for marine renewable energy developers and ensure that we maintain a significant competitive advantage in a sector that has enormous potential for our region.”
In addition to this latest round of funding, South West Marine Energy Park partners have pledged to spend more over the next two years to work with the national industry to “create the right investment environment to make commercialisation of marine energy a reality.”
“Cornwall and Plymouth are a natural fit in the delivery of marine renewables resources”, said Ian McFadzen of Plymouth University.
“The region provides exceptional test facilities and research capabilities which we believe will result in commercial wave or floating wind devices being developed in the south-west.”