UK Primed to lead Europe’s £46bn wave energy market opportunity
28th June 2017 | Commercial Energy
Wave power can contribute 10% of global electricity demand by 2050 if governments and the private sector offer financial support and political stability. The UK is primed to act as the marine energy leader. This is the key finding form Marine Power Systems’ (MPS) Making Wave Power Work report. The report claims that Europe could exploit an annual market worth more than £46bn to drive uptake in wave and tidal technologies.
MPS’ managing director, Gareth Stockman, said, “The world is rapidly transitioning to a low carbon future. Our vision is for wave power to provide 10% of the world’s electricity by 2050. With stable government policy, steady investment and joined up communications from industry partners, the wave energy industry can become an economic success story, following in the footsteps of more mature renewable technologies such as wind and solar to become a source of reliable, affordable, clean energy.”
The report claims that estimated global wave resources could potentially reach 4,000 TWh annually. In comparison, current global electricity consumption sits at around 21,000 TWh and is expected to double by 2050.
According to MPS, these figures provide a call to action for trade bodies, governments and businesses to work together to support wave energy and unlock a global market worth £76bn.
Specifically, the report names the UK, which has already invested £450m into the sector, as an area to lead the exploration. Europe also looks set to benefit, as it accounts for 45% of wave energy companies, and the UK is accountable for a third of the EU’s wave energy potential.
Much of the UK’s investment into wave energy is located in Scotland, which last week had a new 30 turbine tidal park granted off the south-west coast of Islay. The West Islay Tidal Energy Park will have a generating capacity of up to 30MW, enough to power around 18,000 homes.
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