In response to the Climate Emergency declaration by Welsh Government in 2019, developing marine renewable energy offers Wales a realistic opportunity to deliver a low carbon economy and reduce carbon emissions. However, the benefits for Wales go far beyond clean energy.
Wales is working hard to gain the early mover advantage and, with ongoing support, can continue to position itself as a global leader for the marine energy sector. This is through tapping into an export market worth an estimated £76 billion by 2050 and by making Wales one of the most attractive locations for offshore renewable energy. 2020 saw the first export of a Welsh manufactured marine renewable energy device, with many other developers now also pursuing opportunities to sell their technology internationally. Additionally, international companies have their sights set on Wales thanks to the development of world leading plug-and-play test and demonstration zones for marine energy.
We are already seeing the benefits created by a growing marine renewable energy industry, including highly-skilled employment in coastal regions, and regeneration and growth of rural economies and port infrastructure. A further increase in work prospects is also expected to retain and attract more young people to rural areas. For existing local supply chain companies, the marine energy sector provides opportunity to diversify into a new industry; anchoring jobs, upskilling staff and building overall resilience. By supporting local supply chain companies, value from investments can be kept locally in Welsh communities.
In the last year a number of exciting developments have taken place in the sector, with projects progressing, new entrants emerging and ground-breaking research being concluded. This Marine Energy Wales: 2021 State of the Sector report details these positive developments in the industry, and looks forward to what the future has to offer. The findings of our industry survey will also be revealed, along with information on wave, tidal stream, tidal range, and floating offshore wind energy projects currently under development in Wales.