A new £5.8m scheme to generate energy from sea waves off the Pembrokeshire coast will be launched after securing £4m in EU funding through the Welsh Government.
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford will today announce the funding for wave technology company Wave-tricity to develop and test a new device called the Ocean Wave Rower.
The project is the latest investment to help create a world-leading marine energy sector in Wales. EU funding of £12m has been committed to major clean energy projects including Minesto’s Deep Green initiative, being developed in Anglesey, and Marine Power Solutions’ WaveSub technology which will also be deployed in Pembrokeshire waters. Mark Drakeford said: “Marine energy is an important sector and Wales has excellent natural resources which can be harnessed. I am delighted this investment will bring another significant energy project to Pembrokeshire.
“It’s very encouraging that this scheme, which has such potential is being developed in Wales, particularly as it will lead to good employment and business opportunities in the local area.”
The Ocean Wave Rower will generate clean energy by capturing the natural motion of the waves.
The two-year project aims to pave the way for full-scale deployment of the technology and the development of a long-term sustainable business in West Wales following the successful testing.
The EU funding, which will be matched by £1.8m from the company, is expected to lead to the creation of new jobs in engineering and operations at Wave-tricity in Pembrokeshire and supply chain opportunities for local businesses.
Matthew Fairclough-Kay, managing director at Wave-tricity, said: “This announcement marks a key milestone for the company. Everyone on the Wave-tricity team is looking forward to starting operations in Pembrokeshire and bringing the prospect of clean wave energy a step closer to commercial success.
“The support of the Welsh Government and EU funding demonstrates a clear commitment to sustainable economic growth. Allied to a strong base of local expertise, this signals a bright future for marine energy in Wales. It’s great to be on board.”
Professor Drakeford added: “Worth around £650m every year, EU funds are vitally important to Wales. This is yet another positive example of how we are investing EU funding to build a thriving marine energy sector which will deliver a range of sustainable, economic benefits.
“It is our priority to ensure Wales does not lose a penny of the EU funds we currently receive, following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. We are in on-going discussions with the UK Government about guaranteeing funds for projects agreed after the Autumn Statement.
“We will continue to maximise the use of our existing EU funds, approving schemes and projects over the next two years, to ensure Wales gets the full benefit of this important source of funding.”