could be contributing to the national grid within three years under a new
support scheme worth£42m announced today by energy minister
The scheme will be funded from the£50m Marine Research
Deployment Fund announced in August and will support the UK's
world-leading wave and tidal industry to construct demonstration
farms around the UK.
Mr O'Brien said:
'The marine renewables sector is at a critical point in its
development from pipe dream, through R&D, to commercial viability.
'The UK is already by far the most attractive place to develop these
emerging technologies. The government has invested£15m in R&D, and
it's now clear that there are a number of exciting wave and tidal
projects on the verge of pre-commercial operation.
'This new£42m scheme marks a watershed. It will kickstart
construction of large scale demonstration farms and will for the
first time see wave and tidal power feeding into the national grid.
'Harnessing energy from the seas has terrific potential which,
alongside wind and other renewables, will make an increasingly vital
contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and diversifying our
The marine renewable industry welcomed the announcement as 'a major
milestone in the development of the sector'. Philip Wolfe of the
Renewable Power Association, whose Ocean Energy Group represents wave
and tidal energy companies, said:
'This will enable British industry to maintain world leadership in
this crucial renewable energy sector. We are particularly pleased
that the DTI has worked so closely with the industry and other
stakeholders in developing this scheme.'
1. Full details of the new scheme can be found on the DTI website at
2. On 2 August 2004 the DTI announced a new£50m Marine
Renewable Deployment Fund. The purpose of the new fund is to take
forward the recommendations of the Renewables Innovation Review.
3. The new scheme will allocate up to£42m towards supporting
a number of larger scale pre-commercial demonstration wave and tidal
farms. Support under the scheme will be a combination of grant and
revenue support, ie an additional payment for electricity
4. The government is committed to supporting the development of new
and renewable energy technologies, the realisation of which will help
meet its target of 10% of electricity supply from renewables by 2010
and an aspiration to double that to 20% by 2020.
5. Wave and tidal energy is a large potential resource in the U.K.
and worldwide. DTI has already committed in excess of£15m towards
research and development of wave and tidal energy technologies over
the last five years.
6. Government already offers significant support for renewable and
low carbon energy sources comprising capital grants and research &
development totalling some£500m. Wave and tidal will also
benefit from the Renewables Obligationwhich ensures all electricity
suppliers produce a specified and increasing amount of energy from
7. The scheme is subject to State Aid approval by the European