RenewableUK, Britains leading renewable energy trade association, is launching a campaign to urge the government not to cut vital financial support for one of Britains fastest-growing industries, the marine energy sector.
The SeaPower campaign is being unveiled at the worlds largest wave and tidal energy conference and exhibition, which was held in London this week, organised by RenewableUK. The keynote speaker is the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker.
RenewableUKs Wave and Tidal Development Manager, Oliver Wragg, said: "Our new report, 'Wave and Tidal Energy in the UK' shows that Britain has the opportunity to lead the world in developing the emerging marine energy industry. This sector has the potential to employ 10,000 people and generate revenues of nearly £4bn per year by 2020. The removal of £42 million of ring-fenced funding through the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) means that there will be no guaranteed support for the development of this technology from the end of March this year.
Maria McCaffrey MBE, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, said: "Britain is currently at the forefront of the marine energy sector globally. The huge economic and environmental opportunities arising from this growing industry are recognised by countries such as the USA, Canada and China, and there is a real danger that our leading position will be lost to overseas competitors. It is vital that the government retains its support for this sector.
The public are being encouraged to support the SeaPower Campaign by writing letters to their MP or by signing an online petition at: this website
Many MPs from across the political spectrum are already supporting the campaign. The Conservative MP for Cambourne, Redruth and Hayle, George Eustice, said: There is huge potential for wave and tidal power in the UK, but there are also short term risks associated with the development of the technology. My constituency is home to the Wave Hub project and I would like to see the first marine energy park developed in the South West because we have a wave resource which is second to none.