THE ECONOMIC potential of the emerging marine renewable energy sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and neighbouring Brittany was debated at an industry workshop at the Green Cornwall Show recently.
Guest speakers painted an optimistic picture of the evolving opportunities for businesses in the two coastal regions where the development of marine energy has been identified as a key priority.
Dozens of companies attending the event at Heartlands in Pool received advice on how to enter or grow in the supply chain for wave and tidal energy.
However, they were also urged to be realistic about the challenges faced in operating in a sector that is still in the development stages and yet to be commercially viable.
The workshop was organised by Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) and University of Exeter as part of the EU project MERiFIC. It saw the UK launch of a Procurement Code of Practice guide for small businesses, published by CMN and French project partners Technôpole Brest-Iroise.
The MERiFIC project aims to stimulate growth in the sector in the peripheral regions of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the UK and Finistère in France.
Guest speakers included Oankar Birdie from RenewableUK, and Johnny Gowdy from RegenSW and South West Marine Energy Park, and other Cornish businesses successfully operating in the sector including Mojo Maritime and Large Diameter Drilling.
Cllr Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and culture, said: “This business event provided valuable information on how to engage in the opportunities within the emerging marine renewable energy industry in Cornwall.
"There is growing momentum behind this relatively fledgling sector. This is supported locally by the EU MERiFIC project, led by Cornwall Council, and the South West Marine Energy Park collaboration.”
For further details about the MERiFIC project and to download a copy of the Procurement Code of Practice guide, visit www.merific.eu