Future of wave and tidal

Posted on 8 Mar 2010 by The Manufacturer

Leading renewable energy trade association, RenewableUK, has called for the Government to invest a further £150-£200m in wave and tidal energy technologies over the next five years.

The group made the request at its annual wave and tidal energy conference held in London. RenewableUK says the investment will help solidifying the UK’s lead in the sector and will help to create world class wave and tidal industries.

This follows the recent release by the Government of the new Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for offshore energy. Over the last decade the Government has invested around £60m in wave and tidal research and development.

RenewableUK’s ‘State of the Wave and Tidal Industry’ report forecasts that as much as 2 gigawatts (GW) of marine energy could be installed in the UK by 2020 – enough to power 1.4 million homes.

Peter Madigan, the association’s Head of Offshore Renewables said: “The SEA for offshore energy is a welcome initiative. However, there needs to be a greater awareness on the initial investment needs of this industry. The Danish government spent £1.3 billion to establish onshore wind, which currently brings £2.7 billion per year in revenue. A properly capitalised wave and tidal sector could create 43,500 direct jobs and generate a potential £4.2 billion per year in revenue for the UK economy.”

RenewableUK’s ‘State of the Wave and Tidal Industry’ report, released at the conference, states that the UK is still leading the world with the largest installed generating base of 2.4 megawatts (MW), a further 27MW with planning consent, 77.5MW of projects in planning, and 700MW expected in the Pentland Firth area by 2020.

In total, RenewableUK forecasts 1-2 GW of wave and tidal energy installations in the UK by 2020, contributing significantly to the country’s carbon reduction targets.