Britain really can rule the marine energy

RenewableUK, the renewable energy trade association, has welcomed a new report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee which calls for an increase in the deployment of wave energy and tidal power.

The Committee Chairman Tim Yeo MP said “Britannia really could rule the waves when it comes to marine renewable energy”.

The Committee calls for the Government to set more ambitious targets for the wave and tidal energy sector, and to provide greater revenue certainty, in order to maximise the likelihood of the UK benefitting from a lucrative export market in clean energy technology. RenewableUK’s research has revealed that by 2020 the industry could have a value of up to £3.7 billion.

RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge, said: “The marine energy industry is now on the threshold of commercial viability, and the Committee’s report contains important recommendations which, if implemented, will help push it towards becoming a major part of our electricity generation system. In particular, we welcome the Committee’s recognition that any failure to help the industry live up to its promise could lead to other countries stealing the UK’s current global lead. We can’t afford to have innovation and manufacturing in hi-tech industries go overseas”.

Government proposals for revenue support for wave and tidal power do not yet extend beyond 2017, leaving a question mark over the industry’s future.

“Certainty is the watchword for securing the investment marine energy will require to become a major power source. We don’t yet have that certainty, and the Committee’s call for long-term clarity on Government support for marine energy is timely,” concluded Dr Edge.

His comments follow the announcement on Friday that Siemens has strengthened its commitment to UK’s wave and tidal sector by acquiring a majority stake in the Bristol-based company Marine Current Turbines, which develops and builds tidal power systems. Siemens described the move as an important step forward in the commercialisation of a promising technology.