The traditional seaside kite is a common feature of many people’s childhoods. Undoubtedly though, many won’t have looked out towards the sea and have seen the potential in their kite’s basic design and physics to unlock up to 600GW of tidal energy globally. And yet, for tidal energy pioneers Minesto, it’s the most basic of seaside pastimes that has proved to be a significant milestone in the development of their ‘underwater dragons’ – a renewable energy solution that’s anything but basic or traditional.
The ocean, one of the largest yet least explored renewable energy source on earth has the potential for providing a substantial amount of new renewable and reliable energy around the world.
Led by CEO Dr Martin Edlund, the Swedish-Welsh company – headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a UK base in Holyhead, Anglesey – have developed innovative solutions to combat the global energy problem: “Minesto is a high-tech company in the Marine Energy Sector and what we do is we convert the kinetic energy in tidal currents into electricity by flying an underwater kite, to unlock predictable, reliable and efficient energy.”
Minesto enable large scale electricity production globally from areas where no other known renewable technology can operate, which will significantly increase sustainability and security of supply.
They offer products for power production from the ocean that will help supply customers with clean, reliable, and predictable electricity at highly competitive costs.
“We are at the cutting edge of the Marine Energy Sector with this innovative technology that we’re developing here and testing here in Anglesey, North Wales.”
Born from their home on the Swedish West Coast, Minesto sought opportunities to exploit the unexplored depths of ocean energy globally. This led them to seek out North Wales, one of the most energy-rich tidal currents in the world.
“It was seven years ago when we were looking into export opportunities from our home on the Swedish West Coast where we were looking into several regions. Wales became the natural partnership area for us to take this technology to commercialisation.”
“The reason why we’re in Wales is pretty straightforward. Firstly, the natural resource in the tides that we have off the coast of North Wales are a perfect match with our technology. That’s a key aspect of course. You want to go to where the natural resource is at its best and for us that is here, in Anglesey.”
However, this partnership in Wales does not end at the coast. Their innovative technology and commitment to the renewable energy sector made them into one of the Welsh Government’s main partners of the marine energy funding programme. An honour they wear with pride.
“We also came to Wales because of the collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Welsh European Funding Office. They were brave several years ago, and together with Brussels, set up an innovative marine energy funding programme which we were lucky enough to be a big part of.”
“If you look at renewable energy from the ocean and look at the perspective here in Wales, this is about creating sustainable renewable energy that makes us go all the way to net-zero. I think that tidal energy is really for Wales what the coal used to be with one major difference. This will last forever and it is perfectly clean.”
Their Welsh identity plays a big role in Minesto, a company who have not only drawn specialist Welsh engineers back to Wales but boast a high percentage of local employees at their Anglesey office.
“We have built a world class operations team where we’ve used history of the offshore industry in the UK, bringing a lot of talent in critical areas together. it’s really good to see that the majority of the workforce in North Wales are people from Anglesey with that local connection which also strengthens the team. It’s a very strong commitment and I wish to bring this venture to success here in North Wales.”
“Whilst it may be bold to say, we want to conquer the Gaelic Sea in terms of renewable energy generation – a vision and dream of ours starts and ends in Holyhead in that respect.”