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Department of Trade and Industry (National)


The UK's first large scale wave and tidal power generation farms could be contributing to the national grid within 3 years under a new support scheme worth 42million announced today by Energy Minister Mike O'Brien.

The scheme will be funded from the 50million 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 energy mix."

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."

Notes to Editors

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 50 million 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 42 million 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, i.e. an additional payment for electricity generated.

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 5 years.

6. Government already offers significant support for renewable and low carbon energy sources comprising capital grants and research & development totalling some 500 million. Wave and tidal will also benefit from the Renewables Obligation which ensures all electricity suppliers produce a specified and increasing amount of energy from renewable sources.

7. The scheme is subject to State Aid approval by the European Commission.

They've been saying that since the late 70s though

But in the past the sums were done purely on cheapest price per unit of production without the other impacts being taken into account, which killed wave and tide off. Now gas and oil is more expensive and nuclear's subsidies have been cut, it makes it more attractive now. However likewise, I shall wait and see.

42 million is small change when it comes to getting this sort of scheme really off the ground, I suspect th ongoing Cinderella nature of funding for sustainable sources of energy is the main reason for the delay in delivering on promises.


Bumping this thead FAO Penelope Anderson...

But the DTI website seems to have been rearranged, and its hard to find just what this 42m was for. Or even whether it was a reannouncement of part of the existing 50m funding...

might happen . make it happen ?
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