03 Mar 2011 10:03:09
UK marine energy development 'will benefit from clustering'
The "building blocks" which will support the UK's marine energy future are being laid in locations across the UK, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has claimed.
Mr Barker was speaking at the QEII conference centre in London when he said the marine energy sector could benefit from a "clustering" of research and development and manufacturing expertise, much like that which helped drive the development of Silicon Valley in the US.
This was said to already be beginning to happen in some regions of the UK, including Pentland Firth in Scotland and Anglesey in Wales. However, it is the south-west which Mr Barker said was the most promising location.
"It clearly has the potential to be the first marine energy park given its unique mix of renewable energy resource and home-grown academic, technical and industrial expertise in the marine energy sector," he said.
The comments come as the Energy Technologies Institute announced in the next two months it will begin searching for partners to develop tidal stream energy arrays. The institute said the move from deploying single devices to arrays was the "critical next step in the development of tidal stream technologies".