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June 4 2018
Tidal stream energy could bring a £1.4bn boost to the UK economy by 2030, according to a new report. The evidence-based study think tank Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult found that the tidal stream industry could also support some 4,000 energy jobs during this time. The positive report predicted that the jobs created would be centred in coastal areas ‘with greater need for economic regeneration’ such as Wales, Scotland and the South West of England.
Tidal energy channels the natural ebb and flow of coastal waters using tidal stream devices which then in turn utilise currents, similarly to submerged wind turbines. Due to the high density of water, the blades can be much smaller yet yield a significant amount of power. Wave energy as a whole could support up to 8,100 jobs by 2040, and contribute £4bn.
Dr Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult’s research director, said: “The findings of our research are encouraging, with the potential for significant economic benefits to be realised from the UK marine energy resources.
“We will now continue our work with the tidal stream and wave energy industries as well as relevant government departments, to discuss these findings and establish the best way forward for future support that will enable the UK to capture such advantage, in terms of growing our economy, creating jobs and exporting goods and services all over the world.”
This is particularly welcome news at the time of celebrating World Environment Day, and the chief executive of the UK’s leading not-for-profit renewable energy trade association, Renewable UK, agrees. Hugh McNeal told The Scotsman: “The UK has led the world in developing tidal stream and wave technologies, and this report shows that marine renewables could follow the UK’s offshore wind industry in achieving significant cost reductions.
“What we need now, to ensure that the UK capitalises on marine energy, is a supportive framework from government to provide certainty for investors with stable revenues.”