By Marcus Leach

The UK’s first Marine Energy Park will be a great boost for the renewable energy industry in Somerset, according to inward investment organisation Into Somerset.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Regen SW on the South West’s emerging Marine Energy Park project,” said Into Somerset Chief Executive, Rupert Cox.

“We see Somerset’s environmental technology credentials and our 37 miles of coastline — that is ripe for energy generation from the fast tides of the River Severn — as key assets to support the success of the Park. Renewable energy generation is a key target sector for inward investment into Somerset, so we see numerous natural synergies with this project.”

Greg Barker MP said it was a milestone for the region and the marine industry.

"This is a real milestone for the marine industry and for the South West region in securing its place in renewables history as the first official marine energy park," he said.

"The South West can build on its existing unique mix of renewable energy resource and home-grown academic, technical and industrial expertise. 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 £15billion to the economy by 2050.

"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."

Renewable energy is an increasingly important and fast growing sector within Somerset. Benefitting from an existing supply chain thanks to its longstanding expertise in advanced engineering and nuclear power generation, the area has been able to fast-track its growth within this thriving industry. This natural advantage and the continuing advancements made within the county have resulted in national recognition for Somerset as a ‘green leader’.

Located in the heart of the South West, Somerset is extremely well-connected thanks to its excellent road and rail links, with London only two hours away and a choice of international airports on the doorstep. A recent multi-million pound government investment in Somerset’s superfast broadband connection will ensure that businesses within the county can become even more competitive, adding to its already impressive £9billion economy.

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