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UK Marine Energy Action Plan launched

Marine energy such as wave and tidal could provide up to 16,000 jobs in the UK, according to the UK Government’s new Marine Energy Action Plan.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister of State for Energy says: "This Action Plan sets out our vision for what marine energy can do for the UK and what we need to do to make it happen. I look forward to working with industry and other partners to get the most out of our waters and build a new, world-leading energy generation sector in the UK."

The Marine Energy Plan – which has been developed by Government jointly with industry – sets out the actions needed to drive the marine energy sector forward towards 2030.

Key recommendations of the Marine Energy Plan include:

  • Forming a UK-wide strategic coordination group to develop a planning and consenting roadmap for all types of marine renewables;
  • Consideration of support levels for marine technologies under the review of banding of the Renewables Obligation in autumn;
  • Ensuring that the appropriate levels of targeted funding are available to bridge the technology market failures that exist in this developing sector, subject to the budgets in the next public spending round;
  • Leveraging private equity, and in the longer term, project capital into the marine energy sector;
  • Establishing guidelines and best practice in the development of new marine energy technologies; and
  • Building a UK marine energy supply chain and utilising the current skills base already established from the offshore wind, oil and gas, and maritime industries.

Lord Hunt has also announced the establishment of a Ministerial Task Force on Marine Energy, which will bring together key players to oversee future work on the Marine Energy Action Plan.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says the Marine Action Plan in its current form is a work-in-progress. The findings document should be completed in conjunction with Marine Energy Action Plan members and be available in final form by summer 2010.

According to RenewableUK (former BWEA), the UK could have up to 2 GW of wave and tidal energy by 2020. At its Wave and Tidal 2010 event in London last week, RenewableUK said this is an ambitious, but realistic goal if the right support is given.

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