The Manx government has taken the next step towards exploring wind and tidal energy opportunities - which could generates millions of pounds of revenue and scores of new jobs.
Expressions of interest are being invited for companies seeking to develop offshore energy production in the island’s territorial waters.
Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin said: ‘The opportunities for the Isle of Man in renewable energy are significant.
‘For example, we estimate that leasing parts of the seabed within our waters to an offshore wind farm developer would generate several millions of pounds of income per year for the government.
‘The potential return to the Isle of Man from large offshore wind farms could be worth £5m per year from leasing the seabed in our territorial sea.
‘All the infrastructure costs involved in building and installing the wind farms would be borne by the developer, not the Isle of Man Government.’
Consultants Source Low Carbon LLP has been selected to advise on the process for tendering for future offshore wind farms and tidal energy schemes.
Mr Shimmin added: ‘There is also other economic development potential for the Isle of Man as these offshore installations will require onshore facilities to meet the operation and maintenance of the turbines. We are estimating the creation of around 60 jobs if just one wind farm is progressed.
‘Consultation will continue with all stakeholders potentially affected to avoid any adverse impacts.’
Infrastructure Minister David Cretney said: ‘Source Low Carbon was selected for its team’s excellent experience of policy and development issues for offshore wind and marine renewable projects. The government believes that offshore wind, wave and tidal generation projects within our territorial sea can make an important contribution to UK and European renewable energy targets while delivering significant benefits to the island’s economy.
‘Existing constraints such as transport links will be protected in any future energy developments within the territorial sea.’
Cathryn Hooper, one of Source Low Carbon’s three founding partners, said: ‘We are delighted to have been selected by the Isle of Man Government as its marine renewable energy advisor. We look forward to applying our experience of the offshore wind market to help promote a successful licensing process and deliver jobs and inward investment to the Isle of Man economy.’