The SEA – which could also pave the way for further offshore wind, amongst other things – aims to ensure that environmental concerns are addressed as the UK’s offshore energy resources, including wave and tidal, are developed further.
Speaking at the RenewableUK Wave and Tidal Conference 2010 on 4 March, Energy and Climate Change Minister David Kidney said: “I am keen that we get as much of our energy as we can from home-grown sources, and our seas are a fantastic asset that can help us do this - in a number of ways. The exercise I’m launching today will help us identify opportunities for new development, whilst taking into account any possible impacts on the marine environment.
“And by including wave and tidal in this assessment for the first time, we’re laying the foundations for commercial deployment of these technologies. This SEA and our forthcoming Marine Action Plan, alongside our other support measures, will create the kind of investor certainty that will help us maintain our position as world leaders in marine energy technology.”
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK's (former BWEA) Chief Executive, added: "This is excellent news for the UK's green energy sector, especially the wave and tidal power industry. RenewableUK's analysis shows that up to 2 GW of wave and tidal capacity could be installed by 2020 – enough to power 1.4 million UK homes.”