Energy project secures £4M

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The Council has helped secure £4 million worth of funding to help develop a collaborative marine renewable energy project in Cornwall and Brittany.

Cornwall Council is leading the international MERiFIC project, working with south west universities and leading research and marine organisations both in Cornwall and Brittany.

The project will explore the potential for marine energy across the regions of Cornwall and Finistère in Brittany and the island communities of the Isles of Scilly and the Parc Marin d’Iroise with a view to identifying opportunities in the regions for new industry and jobs.

Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the economy and regeneration, said: “Cornwall is at the forefront of the development of renewable energy and this investment will prove to be invaluable in exploring the potential of renewable energy for communities like Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“There are tremendous opportunities in the sphere of renewable energy development and we are proud to be leading the way in this area.”

The project will investigate technical issues to underpin economic development and promote the business and commercial opportunities of renewable marine energy and the involvement of key groups such as fishing companies and energy development companies.

It is currently estimated that by 2050, up to 50% of Europe’s electricity supply could be provided by renewable ocean energy generated off the Atlantic coast.

Peter Child, MD of A&P Falmouth, added: “With the Wave Hub infrastructure now in place we hope that this project will help position the far south west of the UK as a leading region to reap the long term economic benefits of generating electricity from the seas off our coast.”

The MERiFIC project has been selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, which is funded from the European Regional Development Fund and is a partnership of ten organisations – Cornwall Council, University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Cornwall Marine Network, Conseil General du Finistère, Le Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise, Pole Mer Bretagne, Technopole Brest Iroise, IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea) and Agence Economique de Bretagne.

The project will see funding of £4m spent across the two regions. Cornwall Council is contributing £60k towards the project which will be match-funded.