Energy Minister Ed Davey has hailed Siemens for its investment in marine technologies after the manufacturing giant opened the UK’s first tidal production plant in Bristol today.
The new 25,000 square feet facility will be the base for the development of next- generation drive trains used in SeaGen – the world’s first and largest tidal turbine developed by Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT), owned by Siemens.
Mr Davey said: “Siemens’ new testing and assembly facility for tidal turbines in Bristol is a real boost for the South West and for the UK’s world leading marine energy industry,” adding that wave and tidal power has the potential to sustain up to 19,000 jobs in this sector alone by 2035.
“I want to see the sector take the final steps to get these exciting technologies to market, so it’s great to see Siemens ramping up their involvement in marine power, I wish the new centre every success,” he added.
The opening of the facility represents a further boost for the tidal energy sector, after MCT was one of the successful recipients of a £10 million MEAD (Marine Energy Array Demonstration) grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in February.
Achim Wörner, CEO of Siemens Energy Hydro and Ocean Unit, said the UK remains a key market for developing in marine technology.
“The UK has the right combination of coastal and tidal factors and market development and a favourable investment environment is supported by the government,” he said, pointing to Siemens’ SeaGen technology operating in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, since 2008 as being capable of full-scale commercialisation and wider deployment.
Mr Wörner added that further commercialisation will have a positive effect on the supply chain, job creation and the generation of eco-friendly electricity for the UK.
Tidal turbines are part of Siemens’ environmental portfolio, with revenue in 2012 hitting around the €33 billion mark, making the company one of the world’s largest suppliers of Eco-friendly technologies.