Progress on wave and tidal power in the UK is in jeopardy without greater clarity on future support to provide a viable route to market, according to Scottish Renewables.
Scottish Renewables director of policy Jenny Hogan, speaking at the organisation’s Marine Conference in Inverness today, said wave and tidal projects will not qualify for contracts if they have to compete directly against other, more mature renewable technologies.
Hogan said: “Large-scale projects need a meaningful way to access long-term contracts for power.
“Scottish Renewables has been working hard to put the case to Whitehall to make provision for supporting a minimum amount of marine energy capacity in the upcoming contracts for difference auction round, due to be announced later this year.
“For smaller-scale, innovative technologies, looking to scale up from the lab or test centre, clarity of support is also crucial.
“We need to keep working with government to find a way to keep these projects moving forward and to strike the right balance between revenue and capital support.
“Further development is absolutely dependent on continued support from Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, which have all played a vitally important role in the growth of the sector to date.”
Hogan also praised recent achievements in both wave and tidal energy.
“All of this progress – in research, testing and deployment – has led to the marine energy sector as a whole investing hundreds of million pounds into the Scottish economy,” she said.
“Every £1 from public funds has typically leveraged around £7 from private investment, and the sector has created around 1000 jobs in Scotland, with the potential for substantial further growth,” Hogan added.