RenewableUK commented on the release of a new marine energy roadmap from the UK Energy Research Centre and the Energy Technologies Institute.
The report, which focuses on cost-cutting, identifies forty technology and deployment issues faced by the wave and tidal energy sector in the UK, and lays out how to tackle these to ensure the sector is able to reduce costs.
The roadmap lays out a target for the industry to halve its levelised costs by the end of the decade, and for costs to fall by up to six times by 2050.
RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Development Manager, Dee Nunn, said: “The marine energy industry has huge potential for the UK, it’s paramount that we transform our world-leading research in this area into commercialised delivery. With large scale deployment of these technologies, economies of scale will kick in which will enable the sector to achieve the cost reductions it is committed to in the long term.
However, as the next step towards wave and tidal energy becoming cost competitive with other renewable technologies, it’s crucial that government provides the right support to get the first arrays in the water. The learning from these is vital to help us to reduce costs. If we invest in arrays now, and make sure the financial and political conditions are right for them, we’ll also be able to build up the UK supply chain.
One immediate step the Government could take would be to give the wave and tidal sector certainty beyond 2019. At the moment, as there are no guarantees for support beyond that, it’s difficult to see what confidence investors can have to bring forward these arrays and guarantee a future successful British industry.
The UK has benefitted from world class support for wave and tidal energy so far and if the right support is maintained the sector could develop into an industry worth up to $1.35 billion to the UK economy and providing up to 19,500 jobs by 2035.”