Scottish Renewables CEO: Marine energy industry will play key role in UK energy system

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Scottish Renewables has commented on the marine energy sector’s progress toward commercialization, explaining that the marine energy industry will play a key role in the UK energy system.

Photo of CEO, Claire Mack. Source: Scottish Renewables

“Our world-leading marine energy industry will provide a predictable, low-carbon energy source and will play a key role in delivering clean power to our future energy system,” said Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables. 

“The latest statistics released by Ocean Energy Europe show clearly that the UK’s marine energy industry has a bright future and it is encouraging to see the projects we have in development making such substantial progress towards commercial deployment. We have high hopes that a significant number of these projects will be successful in Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 6, the results of which will be announced later this year.”

As anticipated, enhanced national market exposure, coupled with technological progress, has piqued the private sector’s interest. Major energy companies are advancing ocean energy technologies or forming partnerships for ongoing projects. Private investments in the sector saw a remarkable 75% increase in 2023.

“Scotland will welcome the Ocean Energy Europe conference later this year and I look forward to working closely with all the key players in the industry on how we can create a thriving marine energy economy with multiple projects deployed at scale around the UK coastline,” added Mack.

Over the next five years, capacity expansions will concentrate on established tidal markets, with nine tidal projects slated for deployment in European waters, primarily in the UK and France. 

In Scotland and Wales, the UK government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) AR4 and AR5 initiatives will facilitate the addition of 94 MW to the grid, ensuring the long-term revenue certainty necessary to attract private investments.

In its CfD’s Auction Round 5, the UK government allocated £30 million annually for tidal stream projects over 15 years, following a £20 million allocation in 2022. This funding facilitated the addition of 53 MW across 11 projects in 2023, in addition to the previously contracted 40 MW.

Recently, Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) announced that EU funding and domestic revenue support are expected to facilitate the deployment of 137 MW of tidal and wave energy projects over the next five years.

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