Lynmouth opportunity could unlock UK’s marine energy potential – Harvey
North Devon MP Nick Harvey has pressed Energy Secretary Ed Davey to make the most of North Devon’s marine energy opportunities.
During Parliamentary questions today, the MP highlighted recent bad news that Siemens had proposed the sale of Bristol-based marine energy company Marine Current Technology (MCT) – who oversaw successful trials of marine turbines off Lynmouth in 2003. Pelamis, a wave energy developer, has also gone into administration.
Nick asked how the Government would ensure the future of the UK’s marine energy sector and promote opportunities, like using the proven demonstration zone off Lynmouth, to ensure a leading role in the face of international competition.
The Secretary of State responded by saying he hoped that the demonstration zone at Lynmouth would be able to take further tidal arrays, and that the recent developments around a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay were a boost for the tidal industry.
Nick said: “In contrast with the disappointing news from the UK’s marine industry, the French have just given the go-ahead to two major projects off the coast of Brittany, bringing in big developers EDF, Alstrom and GDF Suez.
“There is a chronic lack of finance coming forward in this country for marine projects and the technology is stuck in a difficult period of commercialisation. I fear there is a real risk that industry will move to the continent unless the Government gives its full support to the marine sector at this delicate stage.
“Marine power has a huge role to play in meeting our decarbonisation targets and I have long encouraged the Government to do more to harness the potential of the South West’s seas.
“We already have successful resources: trials of the Seaflow turbine off Lynmouth in 2003 wholly exceeded expectations. I hope that the Government will look hard at how to promote opportunities like the Lynmouth zone to unlock the UK’s potential as a leader on the international stage when it comes to marine energy.”
(from a press release)