Nick Clegg (centre) listening to staff.

Nick Clegg tours Renewable Energy lab

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg toured the University of Exeter’s Renewable Energy laboratory on Wednesday 31 March.

Staff and students introduced him to the latest research taking place at the University, including studies on marine renewable energy carried out through the Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE).

He also heard about the University’s ambitions to develop a world-class Environment and Sustainability Institute on the Cornwall Campus.

Nick Clegg said: “I am very excited by all that’s happening here, by your future ambitions and your plans for expansion. If you can combine the benefits of green energy, University research and the economic regeneration of a region then I think you have a match made in Heaven for Cornwall.”

Nick Clegg was joined by Terrye Teverson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Truro and Falmouth, who added: “The key thing for Cornwall is that we raise the average wages in the county. These emerging skills will be vital to us achieving that aim and benefiting the Cornish economy.”

Located on the University’s Cornwall Campus, the Renewable Energy laboratory is part of Camborne School of Mines. In 2003 the University of Exeter launched the UK’s first undergraduate renewable energy degree, which now produces around 30 graduates a year. Those graduates enjoy a 90% success rate in gaining employment in the renewable energy industry or in going onto further study. The University began its involvement with renewable energy research and development with its ground breaking ‘hot-dry-rocks’ project but over the past three years has expanded to cover a broader portfolio of renewable energy topics, key areas being: marine renewables, bio-fuels, electrical power and networks, distributed generation and the effects of climate change, wind, photo-voltaic and thermal technologies.

(PRIMaRE) is a joint £15 million institute for research into harnessing the energy from the sea, bringing together the technology and marine expertise of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. Its team of world-class academic staff and researchers is dedicated to the support and development of the marine renewable energy sector. The South West RDA and the ERDF Convergence and Competitiveness Programmes are providing the investment for the PRIMaRE venture, whose mission is to become a centre of excellence in marine renewable energy through the delivery of research and technology transfer to business.

Date: 6 April 2010

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