The Shadow Spokesperson for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas AM has described his excitement for the future of marine energy in Wales.
The Plaid Cymru AM for Mid and West attended Marine Energy Wales’ Annual Conference on Thursday in Swansea and was pleased with the ongoing developments in the renewable energy sector.
Simon Thomas AM, who sits on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee in the Welsh Assembly, stated:
“It was a pleasure to be a part of Marine Energy Wales’ Annual Conference and to hear about the inspiring developments taking place in the renewable energy industry.
“This was an opportunity to listen and speak to the experts in the field and to gain a better understanding of how valuable this industry can be for Wales, both as a source of clean energy and jobs.
“I was particularly happy to see the Welsh Government commit to the South Pembs Demonstration Zone – the largest wave energy seabed lease in the world. But this should only be the start. Mid and West Wales has great potential for this industry and the Welsh Government must ensure that we take every opportunity to take full advantage.”
The Conference also saw the release of Marine Energy Wales’ report on the industry. The new report “Marine Energy in Wales: Investment, Jobs, Supply Chain 2017” highlights the findings of an industry survey carried out by Marine Energy Wales in January. The purpose was to provide an update on a previous report published in 2015 and aimed to understand the contribution of the marine energy sector to date, future development plans and what this could potentially contribute to Welsh economy.
Simon Thomas AM has been an enthusiastic supporter of marine and tidal energy developments in Wales and believes that this as a golden opportunity that the Welsh Government must take with both hands:
“The Marine Energy Wales report demonstrates that the marine renewable energy industry is bringing increased investment and jobs to Wales.
“The report finds that there has been an increase in investment into the Welsh marine energy sector of over £23 million since 2015, with current investment totalling £68.3 million. This sector directly supports 137 full time equivalent jobs and 350 person years of employment, 101 more jobs than two years ago.
“Current developers actively involved in Wales have indicated an expected investment of £1.4 billion in the next 5 years, provided market and development incentives are in place.
“From Minesto and Morlais Energy in Ynys Môn to Marine Power Systems and Wave Hub in the South, these independent and local companies can help create a comprehensive and efficient renewable energy sector in Wales and therefore the Welsh Government must give everything within their power to assist when possible.
“I look forward to working with these businesses over the coming months and years and I’m very excited and optimistic about the future of a renewable Wales.”
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