The UK wave and tidal energy sector is “on the cusp” of commercialisation, according to a report out yesterday from RenewableUK.
The report, Marine Energy in the UK, says that the wave and tidal sector could be worth £3.7 billion to the UK economy by 2020 and create 10,000 jobs.
But the trade association cautions that there needs to be significant investment on the part of the UK and Scottish governments if the country is going to make the most of the opportunity.
To date, the two governments have provided less than a third of the £120 million needed by the sector to overcome the initial barriers to full-scale commercial development.
Government investment is vital, says the report, because every £1 of public investment leverages £6 of private investment.
The UK currently has 7.665 MW of installed wave and tidal energy, but the government wants to see 300 MW by 2020. This will require an investment of £1.5 billion, says RenewableUK.
“An overly cautious approach could allow other countries to steal the UK’s lead, so it’s vital that the Scottish and UK Governments build on the good work they’ve already done by supporting the development of these industries,” says RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery.
The trade association wants to see the government’s flagship Green Investment Bank identify marine energy as a priority area so that it can support wave and tidal projects at an early stage.
Director of WWF Scotland, Richard Dixon, says the report is a reminder of the importance of investing in future clean, green technologies.
“Scotland is the world leader in developing wave power and this technology has the potential to be of global significance in our efforts to tackle climate change, as well as offering the prospect of thousands of green jobs,” he adds.
For further information:
Vattenfall to test Pelamis ‘sea snake’ in Scottish test centre (16-Mar)
Tidal Generation’s prototype turbine exceeds 200 MWh milestone (13-Mar)
Siemens sweeps over Marine Current Turbines in takeover (20-Feb)
UK could rule the waves (and the tides), says report (20-Feb)
16 March 2012