Marine Energy

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 26 March 2015.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 9:30, 26 March 2015

What recent assessment he has made of the business potential of marine energy for UK suppliers.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

We are strong supporters of marine energy and I can confirm to the House we have today granted funding to support Wave Hub, the world’s largest wave technology incubator in Cornwall.

Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester

I understand that Tidal Lagoon Power, which is headquartered in Gloucester, will be sourcing at least half its £1 billion project in Swansea bay from UK suppliers. Will my right hon. Friend encourage UK Trade & Investment to work with me and the Gloucestershire local enterprise partnership to host a tidal energy supply chain seminar at our new growth hub at the university of Gloucester—and by the way this afternoon all Members will want to join me in congratulating it on announcing a new business school?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I join my hon. Friend in congratulating the university on announcing a new business school. His question also demonstrates that tidal power reaches all parts of the country, and the fact that Gloucestershire can benefit from the £1 billion investment we are working on in the Swansea bay tidal lagoon announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the Budget demonstrates the value of supply chains and energy investments throughout the country.

Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Liberal Democrat, St Ives

I thank the Minister for the Government’s support for the offshore Wave Hub, which is just to the north of my constituency. That is a welcome development. May I also draw his attention to the fact that the Swansea bay tidal lagoon proposes to source its stone from my constituency, which creates some challenges as it will have an impact on one of the Government’s important marine conservation zones?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I am sure that that point will be taken into account. It is right that Wave Hub gets the support from Government that it needs. It is near Redruth, just north of my hon. Friend’s constituency, and I pay tribute to the work of my hon. Friend George Eustice, who has worked tirelessly to ensure its future.