Wave and tidal sector needs government investment, says RenewableUK

LONDON 3/30/12 (PennWell) -- Green energy advocate RenewableUK says the United Kingdom and Scotland must increase their investments in wave and tidal power in order for the energy sector to ever reach its full potential, according to a recent release.

The report, titled "Marine Energy in the UK," says the two governments have thus far provided less than a third of the US$191 million RenewableUK estimates it will take for ocean power to achieve "full-scale commercial development."

The study says that for every dollar of public funding invested, more than $9 in private funding will be unlocked.

"One step the government could take is to allow the Green Investment Bank to support wave and tidal projects at an early stage," says David Krohn, RenewableUK's wave and tidal development manager. "It's frustrating that ministers have not yet identified marine energy as a priority sector for the GIB."

A commitment to ocean power could equate to 10,000 new jobs by 2020, the report says, although RenewableUK notes that those jobs could go abroad should the UK fail to maintain its current position in the sector.

"An overly cautious approach could allow other counties to steal the UK's lead, so it's vital that the Scottish and UK governments build on the good work they've already done by supporting the development of these industries,” says Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK chief executive.

The organization says the UK has 7.665 MW of wave and tidal energy installed, although the UK Government's Renewable Energy Roadmap sets a target of 300 MW by 2020.

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