Greening the Blue Economy: Marine Energy

Greening the Blue Economy: Marine Energy
In 2020, the UK is leading the world in the development of wave and tidal technologies based on our engineering prowess and excellent natural ocean resources. The IEA forecast that the global ocean energy industry will be worth £76 billion by 2050. Here in the UK, our tidal stream industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK by of £1.4bn by 2020, including considerable exports and the creation of 4,000 jobs. Wave energy, which is at an earlier stage of development, has the potential to add a net positive contribution to the UK economy worth a cumulative benefit of £4.0bn and create 8,100 jobs by 2040.
Both tidal stream and wave energy have the potential to generate high quality, highly skilled jobs across the UK in maritime and peripheral regions including supply chain and local economic benefits. Hear from leading technology developers and Government on how we can secure this opportunity and support the growth of marine energy to help us reach Net Zero, grow our economy and ensure we deliver on our blue economy aspirations.
Chair: Sue Barr, Chair of UK Marine Energy Council, recipient of the SUT Lennard-Senior Award and OEE Vi Maris 2019.
● Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy Connectivity and the Islands, The Scottish Government
● Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy and Transport and North Wales, The Welsh Government
● Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director, Orbital Marine Power
● Craig Frew, Leader Low Carbon Innovation Team, Scottish Government
● Helen Donovan, Industrial Transformation Division, Welsh Government
● Graham Foster, CTO, Marine Power Systems
● Sam Leighton, Managing Director, Bombora Wave Power
Panel discussion and audience Q&A
*Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Regen SW and Marine Energy Pembrokeshire: Marine Energy key steps to maintaining a Great British success story (2016).


Sue Barr
Chair of UK Marine Energy Council, recipient of the SUT Lennard-Senior Award and OEE Vi Maris 2019

Sue has 18 years’ experience in the offshore wind, wave and tidal industries. During this time, she has advised and supported UK government ministers on both the first offshore wind arrays and the first marine energy projects, driving marine renewable industry policy both at home and abroad.

Sue was also announced as the winner of the new Vi Maris Award at OEE2019. Vi Maris, meaning ‘the power of the sea’, is a prestigious new industry award launched by Ocean Energy Europe that recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual to the ocean energy sector.

Paul Wheelhouse
Minister for Energy Connectivity and the Islands

Paul is a professional economist and, since 1992, has specialised in higher and further education markets, policy evaluation and economic appraisal and impact assessment of capital projects.

After being elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, Paul initially served on both the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee, and the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. In addition to these roles, he served as the Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

In September 2012, Paul first became a Scottish Government Minister with portfolio responsibility for Environment and Climate Change, before being appointed to the positions of Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs in 2014, and Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation in 2016. Paul currently serves as the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, a post he has held since June 2018.

Ken Skates MS
Minister for Economy and Transport and North Wales, The Welsh Government

Ken Skates was born in 1976 in Wrexham, educated at Mold Alun School and went on to study Social and Political Science at Cambridge University.

In his free time, Ken enjoys running, swimming, hiking and golf as well as having an interest in gardening, art and architecture.  Ken was previously a journalist and assistant to Mark Tami MP.

In 2008, he was elected a community councillor. Ken’s policy interests include manufacturing, mental health, sport and leisure, eliminating poverty and political economy. His political interests include skills training, tourism, environmental protection, mental health, sport and fitness and social inclusion.

In June 2013 Ken Skates was appointed Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology. In September 2014, Ken was appointed Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. In May 2016 he was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.

Ken was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport on 3 November 2017. On 13 December 2018 Ken was appointed Minister for Economy and Transport.

Oliver Wragg
Commercial Director, Orbital Marine Power

Oliver is responsible for driving strategic business development at Orbital Marine Power. He has 12 years’ experience in marine renewables having also worked at the European Maine Energy Centre, SIMEC Atlantis and RenewableUK. In 2012 Oliver was awarded the Lennard Senior Prize for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the field of marine energy. Over the past 12 years Oliver has represented the industry on multiple boards in various roles including the Ocean Energy Europe board, UK Marine Energy Council, RenewableUK Marine Strategy Group, UK Marine Energy Programme Board and Scottish Renewable Marine Energy Group.

Craig Frew
Leader Low Carbon Innovation Team, Scottish Government

Craig Frew has been working for the Scottish Government for nearly 2 years and is leading the Low Carbon Innovation team. Craig previously worked at Zero Waste Scotland where he project managed the Energy and Low Carbon Heat sector for 3 and half years.

Helen Donovan
Industrial Transformation Division, Welsh Government

Helen works within the Industrial Transformation Division within Welsh Government and has over 30 years’ experience of working within an economic development environment.  Helen’s main aim is to help businesses flourish, creating worthwhile and sustainable jobs across Wales.  Over the past decade, Helen has worked extensively across the offshore renewable energy sectors – both in Wales and internationally – to create a successful platform for the marine energy sector to thrive over the long term.

Graham Foster
CTO, Marine Power Systems

Graham has over 20 years industrial experience, 15 of which has been spent leading high value & high tech R&D, and for the last 10 years he has been a founder / director of fast moving technology start-up companies. Graham is a qualified mechanical engineer and gained a PhD from Swansea University. He is a co-founder of Marine Power Systems and has a track record of financing high value start-up companies having raised multi-million grant and venture funding to date.  Graham is the CTO of the company and has overall responsibility for the WaveSub product development strategy and managing IP.

Sam Leighton
Managing Director, Bombora Wave Power


Sam has over 30 years experience developing emergent technologies globally. As an accomplished international business executive, Sam has held senior management positions at Orbital Engine Company (Australia), Walbro Corporation (USA), Aprilia Motorcycles (Italy), and UCAL Fuel Systems (India). Sam’s knowledge of global markets has resulted in successful launches of products into USA, Italy and India. Sam has a passion for technology commercialisation and business growth and has great depth of experience and knowledge in the development of technologies, extraction and protection of Intellectual Property, sourcing of development partners and technology licensees and technology transfer.

All-Energy and Dcarbonise is the UK’s leading and only full supply chain renewables and low carbon energy event for the private and public sector energy end users, developers and investors.

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