Posted: 20 February, 2012. Written by REA News
Renewable Energy Association
Sunday 19th February 2012, 00:01
Select Committee’s Future of Marine Renewables report is welcome, but inconsistent
The REA  welcomes ECCC report’s acknowledgement of the potential of marine renewables, but questions the logic of its targets
The Energy and Climate Change Committee has acknowledged in a report published today  the potential for marine renewables to contribute “a significant amount of clean electricity to the UK system” and “substantial economic benefits” to UK plc. These benefits include 10,000 direct jobs by 2020 (many of these in manufacturing) and as many as 68,000 by 2050, when the UK market could be worth £76 billion. However, the report is unrealistic in its cost projections (of both renewable and fossil generation technologies), and fails to recognise the benefits of marine renewables over nuclear and CCS.
The report, based on evidence from stakeholder engagement in which the REA was very active, advises the Government to commit to provide a stable and sustainable growth plan for marine renewables as the Electricity Market Reforms (EMR) progress over the course of this Parliament. It also urges Government to learn the lessons from both its failure to capitalise on the manufacturing opportunities presented by the development of wind power in the 1980s, and from the more recent rushed reductions to solar PV Feed-in Tariffs. The REA’s main comments are:
REA Head of Marine Dr Stephanie Merry comments:
“It’s great to see this important report acknowledging the enormous energy potential that surrounds our island nation. We are particularly keen to see the Government avoid repeating the mistakes it made with wind in the 1980s, when it missed out on the chance to seize a huge manufacturing opportunity which eventually went to Denmark. The report rightfully recognises the need to expand our skills base at the university level to unlock the huge potential for green jobs and growth in marine renewables.”
Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker spoke enthusiastically about marine renewables in a recent interview with REA News :
“I’m personally very ambitious for this particular sector… the potential for marine renewables globally to be deployed at scale is huge.”
The REA is looking forward to working with DECC on the EMR consultation to ensure that wave and tidal continue to get the support they need, as any “cliff edge” reductions in support could drive investors away and undo all the good work to date which this report has acknowledged.
For further information or to request an interview, please contact:
REA Press Office: +44 (0)2079 810 856, or
Name: Stephanie Merry
Title: Head of Marine
Tel: +44 (0)7786 543 138
Notes to editors
1. The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable trade association in the UK, with 960 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders.
2. The Future of Marine Renewables in the UK: Eleventh Report of Session 2012-12 – Volume I, House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, 19th February 2012. Available at: http://www.parliament.uk/eccpublications
3. For example, the study into Marine Current Turbines’ SeaGen device in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, carried out by Royal Haskoning and Queen’s University Belfast, which found “no major impact on the Lough’s marine life”. See details here and BBC coverage here.
4. REA News, Winter 2011-12, pp. 13-15. Available online at: http://www.r-e-a.net/resources/rea-publications
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