The government’s Industrial Strategy needs to exploit the wealth of resources and expertise available in the marine energy sector.
That’s according to James Heappey, Conservative MP for Wells, who spoke to ELN yesterday at RenewableUK’s 2017 Wave and Tidal Conference.
He emphasised the importance of the Industrial Strategy’s strong commitment to clean energy technologies in generating growth, improving productivity and bringing existing expertise and emerging technologies together.
He said: “Marine technology, which we’ve been talking about this morning, is one of those obvious ones – in the West Country, in the North East, in South Wales, there’s all that expertise that could be harnessed now in these new industries and that’s why recognising that in the Industrial Strategy is so important.”
He said this would allow for more coherent identification of where opportunities are and how they can be exploited.
It could also result in reduced transmission costs. An example of how this could work is by adding extra transmission cables when building an offshore wind farm, so additional projects can be built nearby in the future and use the same route to the grid.
Lastly, he said a marine authority could be used to de-risk planning processes by identifying which parts of coastline are suitable for different sources of generation and then conducting environmental studies and approving grants ahead of time, saving time and money.