The development of wave and tidal energy in Scotland is threatened by a lack of UK Government support, an industry report has claimed.
RenewableUK said Britain has half the total wave energy resource in Europe and a quarter of the tidal energy, and the technologies could generate up to 20% of the UK’s electricity needs.
The group said independent research showed that marine energy could be worth £6.1billion to the UK by 2035, creating nearly 20,000 jobs – up from the 1,000 employed in the sector.
In a report published yesterday, RenewableUK said current energy policy could jeopardise the country’s lead in wave and tidal energy.
It also expressed disappointment at the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank’s failure to prioritise marine energy development.
RenewableUK’s wave and tidal manager, David Krohn, said the sector has reached an exciting phase as it moves from single device demonstrator projects to small arrays of multiple devices.
However, one of the major hurdles to be overcome was the electricity market reform (EMR) and to ensure that projects get the right level of support for generated electricity.
“Our new report doesn’t pull its punches – the prize is as big as the potential of wave and tidal energy is enormous,” Mr Krohn said.
“It is vital that the government doesn’t undo its excellent work and ensures it sends the right long-term signal to the market by implementing a supportive package through EMR.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Wave and tidal power plans are at risk due to a worrying lack of UK Government support.”