13 Jul 2011 11:07:13
Marine energy 'could compete with nuclear on cost'
Marine energy could supply almost 20 percent of the UK's energy needs and be cost competitive with onshore wind and nuclear sources.
This is according to a new report from the Carbon Trust, which sets out a three-year research and development programme for the marine energy sector.
The document claims the best marine energy sites in the UK could produce energy at a comparable cost to that generated from onshore wind and nuclear sources, once cost reductions following the first gigawatt of installation come into force.
Wave energy could provide 50TWh of power and tidal power could provide 20.6TWh, equating to 13 percent and five percent of the UK's energy needs respectively.
However, the report acknowledged that the current cost of marine energy, around 30p to 40p per Kwh, was high compared to other low carbon sources.
Director of innovations at the Carbon Trust Ben Sykes said: "The key players must now pull together to tackle the next set of challenges and innovate to drive down costs."
The Department of Energy and Climate Change recently pledged up to £20 million of its £200 million low carbon technology budget towards marine energy.