UK wave and tidal letter

Industry Database

91 Members of Parliament from all the main UK parties have signed a letter to the Energy Minister Claire Perry, urging her to put measures in place to ensure that the country capitalises on its role as a world leader in wave and tidal power.

The world’s first tidal arrays are operating in UK waters, built using local supply chains and we are already exporting our marine expertise to 25 countries. Costs are set to plummet as the industry scales up. The UK’s tidal stream industry could bring economic benefits worth £1.4bn by 2030 and support 4,000 jobs. Wave technology could generate £4bn by 2040 with 8,100 jobs. Most of these would be in coastal areas needing economic regeneration.

The letter, written by the Conservative MP Richard Graham, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons, encourages the Government to include new policies to support innovative wave and tidal stream technologies in its upcoming Energy White Paper. These are needed because the current financial support mechanism - auctions for Contracts for Difference - will not bring forward marine renewables, as the sector is at an earlier stage of development than other technologies which are also competing for CfDs such as offshore wind.

The MPs also warn that the UK faces increasing competition from Canada, the USA and China for investment and expertise. However, with the right support, the UK is in a position to lead the global market which could grow to £76 billion by 2050.

By Jake Frith

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