Energy and the Economy was on everyone’s lips at the West Wales’ Economic and Energy Forum meeting on at the Parc Y Scarlet’s stadium last Friday (26th June 2015)

Following an early morning networking breakfast, guests were invited to submit questions to a  panel of informative business leaders and experts from the region.

When questioned about what ‘big opportunities there may be in the pipeline for businesses in West Wales’, Mainstay Marine’s Managing Director, Stewart Graves responded ‘Marine Renewable Energy is a great opportunity for the area as a whole’.

He continued by arguing the case that ‘businesses should continue to look for ways to utilise our national resources without exploiting them. Renewable energy sources such as wave and tidal energy generation can do just that. At Mainstay Marine we will continue to take advantage of our accessibility to the strong tidal ranges and flows off the Pembrokeshire Coastline. The wave and tidal energy market is growing fast and we are proud to have been involved in local renewable energy market from the outset’.

It soon became apparent, as the panel discussions enfolded, that for many people, the two themes of economy and energy were inextricably linked.

Professor Ron Loveland, energy advisor for the Welsh Government commented that there had been a ‘Paradigm Change’ in recent years with regards to the energy sector. ‘Having advised the Welsh Government for 30 years I can say that times have never been more exciting’.

The chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Power, Mr Mark Shorrock echoed Loveland’s statement asserting that ‘we can create something enormous’.

Mr Graves later added ‘West Wales is a beautiful region with a lot to offer. So far we have been successful in recruiting a number of highly-skilled, young professionals from both within and outside of the local area, with one young graduate travelling from as far as South Italy to work for us. I believe that it is the West Wales lifestyle that attracts people to this region and more should be done to promote it’.

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