The Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Roadmap has just been launched by Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (C&IoS LEP), Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. The roadmap sets out how the public and private sector can work together to deliver the next steps towards the commercialisation of offshore and marine energy generation solutions and supporting technologies over the next 10 years.
The Roadmap clearly outlines Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s ambitions to achieve commercialisation by 2025, through investing in three key development themes, consisting of Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I); demonstration and pre-commercialisation and commercialisation and market development. The first of these, RD&I, supports industry-led R&D with local universities and HE colleges. The demonstration and pre-commercialisation theme encourages pre-commercial array-scale projects and ‘seeds’ the development of commercial scale projects including investment in enabling infrastructure. Finally, commercialisation and market development identifies suitable funding mechanisms to de-risk private sector investment.
It also outlines a commitment to growing Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s Green and Marine Sector by supporting the creation of a minimum of 100 new businesses and 700 high-value jobs. The development of these projects in the region will support an increase in renewable energy production in the country as a hole, enabling the UK to meet and exceed its 15 percent generation target.
“It’s really encouraging to see that Cornwall Council, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and LEP have come to together to produce a document that clearly lays out its ambitions in this emerging sector” said George Eustice MP, Minister of State for DEFRA. “I have long been a supporter of the marine renewables industry in the region and will continue to be championing the role marine renewables has to play in the renewables mix as we seek to drive growth in the UK’s renewable sector.”
Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, added that the launch of the Roadmap is about articulating to the industry where the region can help unlock current barriers that exist in the sector, whether at early stage development, open water testing or seeking to reach the next steps towards commercialisation.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP will be facilitating investment in sector development and skills development over the coming years and the region will also increase engagement with key marine related organisations and work with the sector to shape EU funding. The Roadmap additionally sets out the need to build on the existing £100 million invested. A further £30 million to £40 million worth of funding is expected to come from the EU Structural and Investment Fund (EUSIF).
The Roadmap acknowledges the importance of working closely with Regional and Celtic partners in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland to address common challenges and maximise opportunities.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly possess significant natural resources that are key to the development of wave energy. Facilities such as FaBTest and WaveHub, enable the region to offer developers infrastructure and critical support through its Higher Education partners and mature supply chain, thereby helping them to reach their goal of producing a commercial technology. The region is already home to many MRE businesses already possessing industry specific skills in the key stages of the industry lifecycle including planning and project management, R&D, design and manufacture.
The roadmap has been signed by representatives from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, Cornwall Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and South West Marine Energy Park (SWMEP).
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