UK global marine energy market could be worth £76 billion

The Carbon Trust claims that the UK could capture a quarter of the global marine energy market, adding £76 billion to the UK economy and generating over 68,000 jobs.

The Trust has released new analysis that estimates that total marine energy capacity could be 27.5GW in the UK by 2050.

This would be capable of supplying over a fifth of current UK electricity demand to the grid.

Job creation would develop through the growing export markets to countries such as Chile, Korea and America.

The Trust’s research shows that currently the UK hosts around 35 of the world’s 120-130 wave energy and tidal stream device developers. In Europe, half of the wave resources and over a quarter of its tidal energy resources are to be found off the British coastline.

The Carbon Trust does, however, point out that there are challenges for the industry to overcome.

The industry needs continue to innovate to push technologies along to path to commercial deployment.

The Trust supports targeted research and development funds for the industry so that it can compete with other low carbon technologies. Grid upgrades, the development of a manufacturing supply chain will also be critical to success.

The Carbon Trust director of innovations, Benj Sykes, said: “Marine energy could be a major ‘made in Britain’ success.

“By cementing our early mover advantage, the UK could develop a significant export market, generate thousands of jobs and meet our own demand for clean, home-grown electricity.

“To maintain our world-leading position, we must continue to drive innovation within the industry and turn our competitive advantage in constructing and operating marine technology into sustained green growth.”

Alison Brown

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