RenewableUK Welcomes Crown Estate’s Announcement on Funding Wave, Tidal Projects
RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wave and tidal energy industries, has welcomed the announcement by The Crown Estate that it will invest up to £20 million in two wave or tidal energy projects.
The funding will be used to construct wave or tidal arrays (multiple devices) to generate low-carbon electricity. Projects with a total installed capacity of at least 3 megawatts are eligible to apply, as long as they are expected to reach final decision on investment by March 2014.
RenewableUK’s Director of Offshore Renewables, Nick Medic, said:
“This latest announcement provides a boost for the wave and tidal industry at a key moment, when a number of concepts have clearly demonstrated technical viability. The funding will accelerate a crucial step forward – from successful individual devices to the deployment of full-scale arrays in the water. It will also help to attract the right level of private investment to commercialise the sector”.
The news comes in the run-up to the world’s biggest conference on wave and tidal energy in London at the end of February, organised by RenewableUK, which the Energy Minister Rt Hon Greg Barker MP will open.
This week, the European Commission published a survey on public attitudes to different energy sources. The “Attitudes of Europeans Towards Air Quality” study shows that 70% of people believe that renewable energy should be prioritised over the next 30 years, compared to only 9% favouring unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas, and only 8% supporting the prioritisation of conventional fossil fuels. This suggests that those countries which develop renewable supply chains could reap the reward in terms of future export opportunities.
Mr Medic added:
“This study provides yet more proof of the overwhelming support of ordinary citizens across 27 countries for renewable energy in preference to expensive and environmentally-damaging fossil fuels. In the UK there’s widespread concern over the impact of fracking for shale gas, for example, and that’s reflected clearly in this survey across the continent. We hope that politicians will abide by the wishes of their electorates and focus their efforts on developing renewables, rather than going down the cul-de-sac of unwanted fossil fuels. The UK currently leads the world on wave and tidal, and the popularity of renewables across the continent means there’s a huge future export market if we can ensure we get the industry established here.”
Press release, January 16, 2013; Image: OpenHydro