A project to map offshore renewable energy potential around the coast of south west England has been announced today (March 4).
The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) has appointed renewable energy consultancy PMSS to lead the £100k study. It will examine the potential for wave, tidal and offshore wind installations up to 2030.
This will inform future investment decisions by the industry, feed into the ongoing consultation about Marine Conservation Zones through the Finding Sanctuary project and help the south west retain its leading role in the development of marine renewables.
The announcement was made at today’s Renewable UK Wave and Tidal conference in London, during an update from the RDA about its pioneering Wave Hub marine energy project off Hayle.
Claire Gibson, director of sustainable resources at SWRDA, said: “The ability to deploy commercial installations is crucial to the development of the marine energy industry in the south west and this study will map the potential over the next 20 years.
“It will provide data invaluable to the industry and will help ensure that marine renewables are given due consideration in future discussions about planning for the south west’s marine environment.”
The South West was the first area of the UK to be designated a Low Carbon Economic Area because of its strength in marine renewables in July last year.
SWRDA’s flagship marine energy project is Wave Hub, which will create the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, ten miles off the coast, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.