Wave and tidal energy are the last two untapped global renewable resources, with an overall potential comparable to other major renewable resources. UK entrepreneurs, academic institutions and companies have invented, researched, developed and trialled the majority of leading technologies in this space. Many of these are now ready to make the move to commercial demonstration and deployment and the majority of the intended demonstration and commercial array sites are located in UK waters. All of this has been achieved because of long-term, solid and committed policy support from governments in the UK.
Through an analysis of existing research and a number of fresh case studies this report looks at the economic potential of the sector, while understanding how value from developing wave and tidal resources can be generated and retained within the UK. The case studies in particular offer examples of UK-level economic and employment benefits already achieved through reaching key sectoral milestones, as well as an understanding of what can be done to maximise UK ‘size of prize’ through technology development and deployment. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the necessary steps to ensure that the sector fulfils its economic potential.