First Minister Carwyn Jones will discuss the potential of marine renewable energy when he meets members of the British-Irish Council in Scotland today.
DeltaStream, an artist's impression
The First Minister will highlight Wales’ potential to generate clean energy from marine power.
Speaking ahead of the summit he said: “Marine energy is an area of great potential for Wales and I want us to be at the forefront of innovation, research and development.
“With our 1,200km of coastline, deep sea ports and accessible grid infrastructure Welsh waters are ideally suited to meet the needs of the industry.
“The potential energy yields are enormous, with 6.2GW of estimated capacity or over 10GW including the Severn Estuary.”
Mr Jones will be meeting Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey as well as other ministers from the UK and Irish Governments, the devolved administrations of the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.
He added: “The technological challenges are significant, but we have the chance to harness our natural assets in ways that grow our businesses and help create employment.”
Last month Cardiff-based Eco2 and its subsidiary Tidal Energy announced it had signed an agreement with the Crown Estate to lease an area of seabed where it can progress plans for a 10 megawatt (MW) tidal array off St David’s Head, Pembrokeshire, by 2017.
Tidal Energy already has a test site in Ramsey Sound, and has secured £12m funding for a single 1.2MW DeltaStream device there.
Martin Murphy, managing director at Tidal Energy Ltd, said: “There is significant potential in Wales for the development of marine energy, and the continued support and commitment of the Welsh Government is helping companies like Tidal Energy Ltd to realise that potential.
"The political momentum backing marine energy together with the vast resource, marine facilities and grid capacity makes the Welsh coastline a perfect place to test and deploy devices.
"Welsh Government support has helped us get to a position where we will be able to launch a DeltaStream demonstration device in 2013, and we look forward to developing further long term opportunities in Wales."
Dr David Clubb, director of RenewableUK Cymru said: “The Welsh Government has set very ambitious targets for marine energy – up to 4GW by 2020-2025. This demonstrates the confidence they have in developing this young technology into a commercially viable sector.
“Wales is blessed with enviable marine resources and we strongly support the development of the sector in order to maximise the economic benefits, support jobs in our coastal communities and manufacturing industries, and to safeguard an environmentally sound source of electricity generation.
“We welcome the backing of Welsh Government to marine energy businesses, and encourage the highest possible levels of assistance at all stages in the development process, from research, to developing prototypes with a view to creating a robust manufacturing base.
“The UK government also has a role to play in ensuring that incentives are sufficient to attract the investment which will drive growth in the sector.”
Biomass fired up?