THE Department of Economic Development has hosted a round table discussion to discuss the significant opportunities of offshore renewable energy in the Isle of Man’s territorial waters, which occupy approximately 4,000 sq km in the Irish Sea.
The event, which took place on Friday 20th April in the Barool Suite, Legislative Buildings, Douglas, was attended by over 50 delegates, consisting of representatives from corporate service providers, Government Departments and organisations with an interest in green technology, including the Isle of Man Friends of the Earth.
Under the ‘All Islands Approach’, Energy Ministers from the British Irish Council and the Isle of Man Government have agreed to cooperate on commercialising the major wind and marine resource in and around the British Isles to meet future needs and for export into Europe. The discussion was intended to raise the Island’s profile as an ideal location to develop offshore renewable energy projects, an interconnector transmission hub and to provide operation and maintenance bases to enable the export of renewable energy to the UK.
Prior to the event, site visits were arranged to the Manx Electricity Authority power station and to Douglas Harbour to view the area suitable for redevelopment. An excursion was organised at sea on the Government Fisheries’ patrol vessel to view the measuring equipment available for use on the vessel.
The format of the day involved a presentation on the ‘All Islands Approach’ to offshore renewable energy by Laurence Skelly MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Energy Policy and Clean Tech; a presentation by Dr Ken Milne, Senior Manager for Energy Policy on opportunities in the Isle of Man and Laura Hanley MSc, Project Officer for the Manx Marine Environmental Assessment gave an overview of the Isle of Man Marine Plan and the stakeholder led Manx Marine Environmental Assessment.
There were three simultaneous round table discussions on the themes of offshore wind, marine renewables and operation and maintenance bases during the afternoon.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Energy Policy and Clean Tech, explained:
‘Today’s Round Table discussion has provided the perfect platform for stakeholders to network and engage in topical discussions on new technology and environment solutions. In the current economic climate, we all share the same aim in doing everything we can to save and reduce costs and it is important that we take advantage of the opportunities for our Island to benefit from the use of renewable energy.’
Dr Ken Milne, Senior Manager for Energy Policy, commented:
‘This event has been very useful and the Department of Economic Development is pleased to have been able to give an update on the latest developments on offshore renewable energy opportunities in the Isle of Man. We will continue in our aim to attract inward investment in the Clean Tech sector, which hopefully will help to create new jobs through providing low carbon goods and services.’