Wave and tidal industry making major progress to overcome challenges

Wave power is attracting interest from major players in the ocean economy, such as shipping company Fred Olsen and the US Navy.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has today revised down its projections for growth in the global wave and tidal sectors [1]. However, the UK is the world leader in developing marine renewable energy, and our developers are continuing to make major progress in bringing these technologies to commercialisation.

In tidal stream, there are currently three multiple device arrays in the project pipeline, in the Sound of Islay, Pentland Firth and the Skerries, off Anglesey. Proving multiple device arrays will help attract investment in the sector, with plans already well advanced to expand the Pentland Firth array to 400MW by 2020. Major utilities and OEMs are backing these projects.

In wave power, the four berths at the Wavehub site off the Cornish coast are already fully booked up as developers seek to prove their technologies. Wave power is attracting interest from major players in the ocean economy, such as shipping company Fred Olsen and the US Navy.

REA Head of Marine Renewables Dr Stephanie Merry said:

"BNEF is right to highlight the challenges facing the marine sector at present. First and foremost, these are engineering challenges. The UK has never shied away from such challenges – if we had, we wouldn't have led the world on building sewers, bridges and pumped hydro storage. The marine renewables sector is continuing the extraordinary legacy of UK engineering.

"Once arrays of multiple devices are proven at scale, which is just around the corner, we will also be able to tackle the finance challenge. There'll be less perceived risk for investors and the economies of scale on the larger projects will make them economically competitive with other forms of low carbon generation. These technologies can deliver reliable clean power from our seas for this generation and several to come."

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