Gallery: UK’S First Marine Energy Park to Harvest 27 Gigawatts of Wave ...


The UK’s climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today that South West England will soon be home to the country’s first Marine Energy Park. The park, once completed, will stretch from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly and will have the potential to generate 27 gigawatts of power from the waves and tides of the area by 2050 – the same amount of power generated by 8 coal-fired plants. The project will draw on public and private resources with a huge boost from the world’s leading wave energy research and development facilities located along the future Marine Energy Park’s coastline.

Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15bn to the economy to 2050,” Climate Change Minister Greg Barker noted during the announcement. “The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power, so we should capitalise on this leadership to make marine power a real contender in the future energy market.” The park will use innovative technology to harness energy from the ocean’s tides and waves and feed it to the UK’s electrical grid.

Today Barker launched the South West Marine Energy Park Prospectus, which will be the blueprint for moving forward on the development of marine energy in the area. The research and development facilities in the area make up the largest marine technology hub in the world – they include Cornwall’s Wave Hub, the Fab-Test nursery site at Falmouth, the new marine science building in Plymouth, and research facilities at Exeter University and the National Composites Centre at Bristol. With the help of government funding these research and development facilities will fuel marine energy innovation, and supporters are hoping this project will show the rest of the world the practical power of the ocean.

Generators that gather energy from the ocean are able to serve as clean, dependable, and sustainable sources of power, although some environmentalists worry that these technologies are harmful to surrounding marine life. The installation of tidal turbines can be disruptive, and their moving parts can prove lethal to sea life. The UK has not released information on how it might seek to mitigate harm caused by the soon-to-be-installed technology.

+ Read the announcement

Via The Guardian


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  1. tahrey January 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Care to elucidate how, Hyncharas, miles out to sea and 95% submerged, syphoning off a little of the very considerable tidal and wave energy that naturally causes massive erosion damage to the seabed and shoreline, this scheme counts as an eyesore, or something that erodes the natural world?

    Or would you prefer a lot more inland mining for lead, mercury and uranium contaminated coal to burn in the existing, far from pretty power stations?

    Or indeed the previously proposed and rejected (I think?) Severn Barrier that this is a higher-powered, more environmentally friendly alternative to?

  2. rawky January 30, 2012 at 7:42 am

    everything comes with a price, if you want to be using your oven in 20 years time and not having to light candles during the impending blackouts then you’ve got to put up and shutup. Just what is it with people in my country thinking they can have their cake and eat it too! HMMMM….

  3. Arfamo January 30, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Hardly an eye-sore when the majority of it is under the sea; at last, the development of the only renewable that can consistently deliver – wave power. I used to be a supporter of wind-power, and still think it has its place, albeit a small one, but last winter’s “windless freeze”, plus unwanted over-production in stormy weather puts it’s limitations into perspective

  4. cynical January 30, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Friend of mine actually has job with an agency where she’s paid to comment on articles like these – Her comments all follow a fairly standard ‘reverse reality’ format – i.e. position anything not coal or nuclear as damaging to the environment and a crazy waste of public money.

    Good friend but we tend to disagree on many things….
    Is this one of your’s Claire? 😉

  5. Hyncharas January 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I like the marine power idea even less than those prop-wind turbines. Just what is my government’s appauling obssession with power generating eysores or devices that erode the natural world?!

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