The wave and tidal sectors represent a once in a generation opportunity to secure a new low carbon, indigenous source of electricity which delivers significant economic and industrial growth. The UK is home to some of the best marine energy resource in the world. It has an evolving, dynamic marine energy sector which is already achieving outstanding technology progression with many concepts now proven in real sea conditions.
We have made an enormous amount of progress, but there is still much to do to realise the clear and major ‘triple bottom line’ case that exists for the UK, and we must increase our efforts over the coming years to reap the following benefits.
UK industry has an international presence in marine engineering, built up through centuries of ship building and offshore operations in industries such as infrastructure, fishing, shipping and oil and gas. Marine energy offers a major opportunity for this expertise and many players in these industries are already benefitting from diversifying into the wave and tidal supply chain.
However, to maintain our global lead and commercialise these industries, sustained and consistent practical and financial support from government at all levels is urgently required.
By implementing the recommendations in this paper, the UK can set its wave and tidal sectors on an accelerated path towards unlocking the long term opportunities indicated above, securing the following medium term outcomes over the next 5-10 years:
• the positioning of the UK as the most attractive location in Europe for both private investment and major European Commission funding available to the marine energy industry;
• the growth of an increasingly attractive investment proposition in tidal energy technology and projects with deep and sustained experience and operational data gathered through the construction of least three pilot tidal arrays. This experience will secure major reductions in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE);
• the reinvigoration of private investment in wave energy in the UK, utilising our leading expertise and world class test and demonstration facilities to bring the world’s most advanced wave technologies towards proven reliability and survivability;
• continued growth in the experience of UK companies throughout the supply chain, leading to a sustainable competitive advantage in a growing export market.