More than £12m of EU funding will be invested in a major scheme to generate clean energy from ocean waves, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced this week.
The funding will support the next stage of Swansea-based Marine Power Systems’ project to create and launch an underwater device capable of generating clean, affordable and reliable energy in Wales and around the world.
The WaveSub device is the invention of Swansea University graduates Dr Gareth Stockman and Dr Graham Foster, who founded Marine Power Systems in 2008.
Drawing on patented technology developed by the company, the device operates under the surface of the sea by capturing the high power density of ocean waves.
Following successful testing of a quarter-scale WaveSub, today’s investment will allow the company to develop a full-scale prototype, paving the way for the device to be launched on the market.
The Welsh Government has been working with Marine Power Systems to support the development of this technology and the WaveSub concept.
Announcing the £12.8m EU funding during a visit to the company, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We want Wales to be a leading player in the marine energy sector. This means supporting Welsh developers like Marine Power Systems; continuing to attract developers from around the world to Wales and exporting our knowledge, technology and services globally.
“WaveSub is a pioneering project and today’s investment allows the company to take a major step towards these goals. This is excellent news for the marine energy industry in Wales.”
In addition to EU funding, the next stage of the WaveSub project will also be funded through a £5.5m investment opportunity, to be raised by Marine Power Systems over the coming months.
Dr Gareth Stockman, chief executive of Marine Power Systems, said: “We are honoured to be awarded this £12.8m of EU funding for the WaveSub wave energy generation device and would like to thank the Welsh Government for its continued, forward thinking, support.
“Having recently concluded testing on our quarter-scale prototype WaveSub device, this funding is a solid endorsement of the progress that MPS has made with the WaveSub’s development. With our talented team of engineers and a network of highly-experienced suppliers behind us, MPS is confident it can make great strides as a world leader in the marine energy sector.
“We live in an era in which renewable energy development is rapidly accelerating and – importantly –the public are now overwhelming in support of. MPS is excited to utilise this £12.8m of financial support to continue the development of WaveSub to a point of market-readiness and remain fully committed to supporting the Welsh Government with its ambition to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
In the last decade, EU-funded projects have created 48,500 jobs and 13,400 businesses in Wales, assisting more than 26,000 business with funding or support.