Tidal power to reduce emissions and boost UK economy by £1.4bn by 2030, report finds

4th May 2018 | Commercial Energy

The UK’s tidal stream could deliver £1.4bn to the UK economy by 2030, with wider marine technologies helping to reduce national carbon emissions by up to four million metric tonnes a decade later. These are the key findings of a new report published by The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which explores the potential of the UK’s emerging tidal stream sector alongside the less-developed wave energy sector.

According to the report, tidal stream technology could generate £1.4bn in benefits to the nation’s economy by 2030, while wave energy could add an extra £4bn and around 8,100 jobs by 2040.

“The findings of our research are encouraging, with the potential for significant economic benefits to be realised from the UK marine energy resources,” ORE Catapult’s research and innovation director Dr Stephen Wyatt said. “We will now continue our work with the tidal stream and wave energy industries, as well as relevant government departments, to discuss these findings and establish the best way forward for future support that will enable the UK to capture such advantage, in terms of growing our economy, creating jobs and exporting goods and services all over the world.”

Tidal Power

The report assumes that annual deployment of 100MW of tidal stream capacity from 2021 will generate vast economic sums for the UK, with wave energy eventually reaching similar levels of commercialisation following a 10-year lag.

As for carbon emission reductions, the report predicts that marine energy has the potential to displace natural gas generation on the grid by permanently reducing annual CO2 emissions by a minimum of 1Mt after 2030, rising to 4Mt after 2040 – a higher figure than for biomass and advances conversion technologies, the report notes.

The research notes that for every kWh of energy, marine power saves 937g CO2 compared to the same power from coal: 394 compared with Combined Cycle Gas Turbines or 120g CO2 compared to biomass. According to the report, this emphasises the UK’s “global advantage” in its position as a world leader in hydropower development and exportation.

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