The huge potential of the South West’s green energy credentials, and its progress in becoming the UK’s green energy powerhouse, have been showcased at a key Energy Summit in the region.
The chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP took the opportunity to promote the county and highlight the fact it has some of the best natural resources in the UK.
The Great South West Partnership brought together leading figures across industry and Government for the summit, held at the University of Plymouth, on Wednesday 23 November.
The Great South West is the ‘powerhouse’ brand promoting the areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Heart of the South West covering Devon and Somerset, and Dorset. It aims to advocate the region’s natural ‘blue and green’ assets, including the marine, agriculture and environmental sectors, as part of the region’s ambition to become the UK’s green energy powerhouse.
Karl Tucker, Interim Chair of Great South West and Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “Developing our low carbon energy assets is one of the fundamental priorities we face as a nation. The South West is already a leader in this field but through floating offshore wind, hydrogen and other opportunities will be going much much further. It’s critical to our energy security and, of course, critical for tackling climate change and critical for reducing emissions and delivering net zero. It was great to hear from experts, pioneers and key players committed to driving this forward at the Summit.”
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “This summit has highlighted the importance of collaboration in realising the huge potential of sustainable, green energy generation across our region. Renewable energy is crucial not just to tackling climate change on the path to net zero, but also to growing our economy by developing new industries and robust supply chains capable of meeting the opportunities ahead. Issues like skills and grid capacity transcend borders and it’s vital we work together to realise a low carbon economy. In Cornwall we have some of the best natural resources in the UK, with opportunities spanning floating offshore wind, deep geothermal and tech metals including lithium, tin and tungsten, all vital to the energy transition.”
The summit included insights from Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP; Merlin Hyman, CEO of Regen; Eric Adams, Project Director at Carlton Power; Matt Hodson, COO of Celtic Sea Power and Augusta Grand, Eden Geothermal. Delegates highlighted the region’s energy opportunities, including floating offshore wind, battery storage, hydrogen and geothermal, and explored some of the challenges facing the development of the energy sector, including improving grid capacity, building talent pipelines, and skills needs.
Priority actions for the Great South West were identified, setting a pathway for how the partnership’s business, education and Government partners can work together on the energy agenda, and promote the Great South West regionally and nationally.