South west of England to become world centre for wave and tidal energy

Energy Matters0

South west of England to become world centre for wave and tidal energy

Business secretary Lord Mandelson names Cornwall as the UK’s first low carbon economic area with pioneering Wave Hub project


Wave Hub

The Wave Hub socket, part of the pioneering wave power project off the coast of Cornwall Photograph: Public Domain


The south west of England will become a world centre for wave and tidal energy under plans published by the government today.


Business secretary Lord Mandelson named the region as the UK’s first low carbon economic area at the launch of the low carbon industrial strategy.

The government also announced an investment of £9.5m for the pioneering Wave Hub project, which will see a giant national grid-connected “socket” built on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall.

The project, which will become the world’s largest wave farm, also received the official go-ahead today from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) and could create more than 1,800 jobs.

Stephen Peacock, enterprise and innovation executive director of the South West RDA, said: “Being identified as the UK’s first low carbon economic area is a tremendous accolade and recognition of our commitment to develop this unprecedented economic opportunity.

“We want to forge a new industry from the seas around our shores and today’s announcements cement our position as a global leader in wave and tidal technologies.

“We also welcome the low carbon industrial strategy which sets out a range of opportunities to ensure that we take advantage of a global market for low carbon products and services that could be worth £4.3 trillion by 2015.”

A further £10mm has been made available for the South West RDA to support other marine energy projects in the region.

The European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme also announced it would invest £20m in Wave Hub, which will be commissioned next summer.

The first equipment orders for the project were placed this week.

The combined government, RDA, European and private sector funding in the south west’s marine energy programme in the next two years is expected to exceed £100m.Today’s announcements form part of the government’s low carbon industrial strategy including a white paper on the low carbon transition plan as well as the UK’s renewable energy strategy, the low carbon industrial strategy and carbon reduction strategy for transport.

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