The UK’s tidal stream and wave energy industries are at a key juncture. The momentum created by significant UK public support between c.2004 and 2014 has now visibly slowed, with a knock-on impact on private sector investor confidence. Despite a number of high-profile failures, 22 tidal device developers and 23 wave device developers remain active in the UK, and we observe a major difference between the status of the tidal stream developers who are progressing first farm projects, and the wave sector which is, in the main, still in the technology development phase. The aim of this study is to assess the value in further public support for the tidal stream and wave energy industries.
In order to assess the viability of new forms of renewable energy, the UK government’s clean growth strategy has set out three tests:
- Can we see a clear cost reduction pathway for this technology, so we can deliver low cost solutions?
- Can the UK develop world-leading technology in a sizeable global market?
- Does this deliver maximum carbon emission reduction?
This study has been conducted to assess whether the UK’s tidal stream and wave energy industries can deliver on these tests