A new report from RenewableUK, the UK trade association representing the renewable energy industry, is calling for a significant increase in investment by the UK and Scottish Governments to realize the wave and tidal sector’s massive potential.
‘Marine Energy in the UK’ says that the two Governments have so far provided less than a third of the £120M needed for the industry to overcome the barriers to full-scale commercial development. The study notes that this support is vital, as every pound of public sector investment will unlock £6 of private investment.
“One step the Government could take is to allow the Green Investment Bank to support wave and tidal projects at an early stage. It’s frustrating that Ministers have not yet identified marine energy as a priority sector for the GIB,” commented David Krohn, RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Development Manager.
Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK added that an overly cautious approach could allow other countries to steal the UK’s lead. “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, to ensure that we can retain our leading position globally,” she said. “This will also give us an opportunity to secure a large part of the worldwide market by exporting our technology”.
The UK currently has 7.665MW of wave and tidal energy installed. The UK Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap sets a target of 300MW by 2020. This will require investment of £1.5B.
The industry predicts that the sector will be worth £3.7B to the UK by 2020, creating 10,000 jobs.