This review aims at giving a picture of the progress of the UK wave energy and suggesting key steps needing to be taken for its contribution to the Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. It follows consultation through scoping wave energy workshops held by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in August 2019 and by Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub in January 2020 and a series of structured interviews with academics, policy-makers, funding bodies and industry professionals. It is believed that the UK has excellent wave resources and advanced techniques that need to be rapidly developed to achieve the target of 22 GW of installed capacity by 2050 Greaves et al. (2020). The wave energy resources in the UK are reviewed, summarising wave energy hotspots for development and identifying openly accessible wave data. The progress and achievements of wave energy development in the UK are reviewed and described to underline the important roles that UK government and industry support have to play in securing a leading position in wave energy. The potential benefits of wave energy for the decarbonisation of UK industry (including utility scale and niche markets) to achieve Net Zero target by 2050 are presented, as well as the steps that need to be taken in the next 30 years to achieve its potential.