Moving marine to mainstream
- Published on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 07:47
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Cash to take marine power devices to the next level of development has been announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Barker on a visit to Pelamis Wave Power at Leith Docks in Edinburgh (June 28th)
Generating energy from the power of waves or tides has the potential to meet 15-20% of the UK’s current electricity demand by 2050 as well as helping to reduce emissions to fight climate change.
Up to £20 million from DECC’s budget of over £200 million to fund low carbon technologies, announced at the Spending Review, will help progress the development of marine devices from the current large scale prototypes to bigger formations in the sea.
Greg Barker said:
“Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a potential £15 billion to the economy to 2050.
“Britain can be a world leader as we have decades of expertise in offshore industries and the most advanced devices are already being developed here. Our geography gives us access to rich marine resources which act as a natural laboratory to test and run devices in realistic conditions, especially in Scotland and the South West where innovative work is already being carried out.
“The money we’re announcing today will take marine power to the next stage of development in the UK and a step closer to being a real contender in the future energy market.”
The scheme is expected to open in spring next year and, subject to a value for money assessment, will support two projects to test prototypes in array formations – the final development stage in generating large scale electricity from marine power prior to commercial roll out.
Further help for marine power
To help develop and commercialise wave and tidal technology, the UK has the most comprehensive marine energy support programme in the world. This provides help from the earliest stages of university research through to demonstration and roll-out under the Renewables Obligation.
The Government provides support across the sector with early-stage research and development funding for marine energy provided through the Research Councils’ SuperGen Marine programme. Later-stage technology development and demonstration funding is provided through various bodies, such as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Carbon Trust and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
Under the banded Renewables Obligation, wave and tidal technologies currently receive an enhanced level of ROCs for each MWh of eligible generation produced. A banding review is currently underway for ROC levels in the UK.
Also today, Greg Barker will chair the second meeting of the UK Marine Energy Programme Board, which was set up to help advance the industry, at Edinburgh University.
At the meeting the Minister will meet key marine energy experts and hear from representatives from Regen South West who will present their ideas on how Marine Energy Parks can be set up. This follows from the first UK Marine Energy Programme Board meeting, held in Exeter on 31st January, where Greg Barker announced plans to create Marine Energy Parks.