Press Release: Derek Thomas MP calls for new vision for the region’s Marine Energy Industry

MP calls for new vision for the region’s Marine Energy Industry
West Cornwall MP and South West Marine Energy Companies call for renewed energy and direction from Government Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom.
Derek Thomas joined delegates in London for a crucial meeting with Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom MP, and George Eustice, Minister of State (DEFRA), to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Marine Energy Sector. This round table discussion included representatives from a number of private companies, local authorities in the South West, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, three Government Departments and Plymouth MP, Oliver Colvile.
Marine Energy is a growth area in Cornwall and the South West, and there is the potential for a significant number of well paid jobs to be created in this sector. Much talk, research and development has taken place regarding wave and tidal energy, and the South West has a good story to tell. However, the region is not yet generating the energy that the industry expected, and the meeting was called to ensure that during the next 5 years the marine energy industry does begin to deliver on the promise offered by wave and tidal power.
300 companies are currently actively involved in the Marine Energy Sector in the South West. At the meeting delegates asked Government to work with the industry to develop a clear ‘direction of travel’ for the renewables sector. The sector is extremely dependant on private investment, and needs the Government’s help in order to build confidence in the market. This will attract further investment in technology, and the development of skills that the growing industry requires.
It was agreed that Marine Energy companies would work with the new Energy Minister to develop a strategy for the industry to provide clear direction over the next 5 – 10 years.
Derek Thomas MP said, ‘Harnessing wave and tidal energy around the coast of West Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly provides a significant opportunity to create well paid jobs and drive energy prices down. It is absolutely right that we continue to develop this renewable technology, and I was encouraged that the new Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, agreed to work more closely with the industry in order to fulfil the sector’s full potential.’
George Eustice MP said “It was really good to attend the Marine Energy Roundtable on Monday and speak with delegates from across the marine renewables industry. Wave Hub, which is based in my constituency, is already one of the world’s largest testing sites for offshore renewables and I am currently working to help establish a Marine Renewables Enterprise Zone to help further develop the industries potential in Cornwall.”
Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives