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UK wave and tidal funding – “a drop in the ocean”

RenewableUK welcomes the UK Government’s announcement of £20 million funding from the Low Carbon Innovation Fund to develop the wave and tidal energy industry, but warns it could be but a drop in the ocean.

By Renewable Energy Focus

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says the wave and tidal funding will support two projects to test prototypes in array formations from next spring.

Under the banded Renewables Obligation, wave and tidal currently receive what DECC calls “an enhanced level of ROCs for each MWh of eligible generation produced”. A banding review is currently underway for UK ROC levels.

RenewableUK warns that the £20m is not enough to secure Britain’s position as a world leader in wave and tidal energy.

The association says other measures are urgently needed, including a further £60m funding from the Green Investment Bank, support from new regional enterprise zones, and a guarantee of five ROCs per MWh.

Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, comments: “Overall, the first generation of marine energy projects is likely to cost £80m per 10 MW scheme, and we need at least three or four projects to drive costs down and achieve the best technical solutions to maintain our premier global position in this field. So £20m is a good start – but it’s only a drop in the ocean”.

RenewableUK wishes to remind the UK Government that when the Coalition was formed in May 2010, the Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted it to be "the greenest government ever". Cameron had already stated in 2008 that he wanted "to make Britain the force for clean, green, marine energy”, promising that “the next Conservative Government will put rocket boosters behind this area of research."

“We urge the Prime Minister to stand by those promises fully and unequivocally,” the association says.

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