UK Marine Energy 2019 – a new industry

The report UK Marine Energy 2019 created by the UK Marine Energy Council and Scottish Renewables, details the potential of the UK’s tidal and wave power sectors at local and global levels. 

Tidal and wave energy industry hold great potential

The International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspective forecast that the global market for tidal and wave energy is growing and developing quickly. Marine capacity will increase and up to 337GW of marine energy capacity could be deployed across the world by 2050. It is forecast that the ocean energy industry will be worth £76 billion by 2050.

The UK is a global leader in renewable energy technologies

The country has a significant participation in Europe’s marine energy, as it owns 50% of Europe’s tidal energy and 35% of its wave energy. In addition, the UK is leading the deployment of wave and tidal energy devices, as the country has installed more devices in its own waters than the rest of the world combined. 

Several global showcase projects demonstrate the UK’s growing relevance in tidal and wave power energy industry deployment. The world’s first large-scale tidal stream array, MeyGen, has generated over 8GWh of energy to the grid to date, which is sufficient to power nearly 5500 homes. Orbital Marine Power generated over 130MWh of electricity in seven days, around 7% of the requirement of the Orkney Islands. 

An expansion of the tidal stream is taking place in the UK 

Currently, there are 1287MW of leased tidal stream sites and 10MW of operational tidal stream capacity. The tidal sites will be implemented in Scottish and Welsh waters, and the industry has already planned 180MW of tidal energy by 2025, according to an industry survey. 

Other studies have shown that the private sector has invested £450 million in the UK marine energy supply chain, showing clear interest to increase economic benefits and to strengthen the existing supply chain. 

The marine energy sector creates new jobs and delivers economic development 

By 2030, ORE Catapult has reported that tidal energy could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1.4 billion with the potential to create 4000 jobs in coastal areas. By 2040, it is projected that the sector could provide 22 600 jobs. 50-60% of the economic benefit of both GVA and jobs will benefit coastal areas in need of economic regeneration. While by 2050, the projections show that the net cumulative benefit to the UK will increase to £24 billion (31% of the projected global market).

By Maria Paula Ar…