RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind energy, wave energy and tidal energy industry, has welcomed the launch of the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) scheme, which will provide £20 million of funding for the first marine arrays.
An ‘array’ is an arrangement of multiple wave and/or tidal power devices, analogous to multiple wind turbines arranged into a wind farm. There are currently several single devices in operation around the UK, including the SeaGen device at Strangford Lough, the Tidal Generation Limited, Oyster wave power and Open Centre Turbine projects at Orkney, and the DeltaStream project off Pembrokeshire.
RenewableUK’s Wave & Tidal Development Manager, David Krohn, said: “The marine energy industry has the potential to allow us to generate clean electricity equivalent to up to 20% of our needs using the inexhaustible power of the sea. The MEAD scheme will provide enough funding to deliver two arrays, which will help kick-start the industry, and we welcome it.
“However, it’s important to recognise that this is only the beginning of the road to building marine energy into a fully commercial industry. Our research shows that £120 million of capital support is required to overcome barriers to commercial development and unlock our share of this global industry. We look forward to the opportunities that the Green Investment Bank can provide to help drive the industry forwards.”