- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly Member Joyce Watson today joined marine energy experts from across the country as they convened in Milford Haven for Marine Energy Pembrokeshire’s (MEP) 7th annual industry seminar.
Since it was established in 2010, MEP has been at the forefront of promoting Pembrokeshire as a ‘centre of excellence’ for marine renewable energy. The annual seminar, which took place on Monday (14 March) at the Torch Theatre, is a unique collaboration between industry, government and academia – an opportunity to discuss recent developments and future direction.
One of the hot topics this year was European funding, ahead of the EU referendum. With €100.4 million of EU Structural Funds prioritised for the delivery of marine energy over the next five years, Wales is well placed to play a leading role in the worldwide marine energy sector.
Mrs Watson last week (9 March) co-hosted a corresponding marine energy event at the National Assembly for Wales. And on Friday (11 March) the Labour Mid and West Wales AM visited Tidal Energy Ltd, the company behind DeltaStream, the giant submarine turbine operating on the seabed between Ramsey Island and the mainland near St David’s Head – Wales’ first tidal energy site.
Mrs Watson, who sits on the Assembly’s environment committee, said:
“As a long-time supporter of the DeltaStream project – I invited the team to present their plans to the Assembly back in 2009 – I am delighted to see it realised.
“One of the clear messages of today is how important European and Welsh Government support and funding has been to getting projects off the ground and providing a structure for investment.”
The Welsh Government delivered £8m of EU funds to the DeltaStream project. Joyce Watson AM added:
“Marine energy is predictable, reliable, low impact and low carbon. It can help drive economic growth, deliver energy security and tackle climate change. Building on the deployment of the turbine here at Ramsey Sound, there will be huge opportunities for Wales – and Pembrokeshire – in the coming years.”
Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Economy and Transport, gave the seminar’s keynote address. In 2012, Mrs Hart established the Haven Enterprise Zone as one of seven Welsh Enterprise Zones created to strengthen the competitiveness of the Welsh economy. With around 30% of the UK’s energy supplies coming via Pembrokeshire, the vision was to build on the region’s reputation as the ‘New Energy Capital’ of the UK.