for marine technologies for 2020 to 2030.
The forecast is that the large scale arrays will
be coming on stream post-2019, and it is
then when those who are in the supply chain
now will reap the most benefits. Industry
watchers believe solutions to problems will
be found because the prize of long term,
sustainable, low carbon energy - and with a
scale of deployment to bring costs down - is
simply too large for the Government to let go.
GTMA CEO Julia Moore agrees: "The time
for engineering companies to act is now so
they are ready when the huge potential of
marine energy comes through. As an
organisation we are determined to help our
members benefit from this exciting sector."
At the same time, the MEPB Economic
Benefits Group are looking to talk to potential suppliers into
the wave and tidal sectors
as part of its ongoing work. Any companies
that would like to get involved should contact the secretariat
for the group: Dee Nunn
Also see: OCEANERA-NET and Blue
Growth (page 46), Wave and Tidal
Knowledge Transfer Network (page 50).
in the tidal side. Also involved are companies
like Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) which
designs, manufactures and operates
machines that generate electricity from
ocean waves at its base in the Port of Leith,
The MEPB report said that while a large
part of the £70 million funding PWP has
received has come from overseas "the vast
majority of spend to date" has been with
suppliers in the UK.
At the same time, leading wave device manufacturers
estimate the UK content of their
capital spend is already over 50% and likely
to increase substantially as wave and tidal
moves to large scale arrays.
The MEPB report emphasised the importance of UK supply chain development and
included advice to produce a detailed Sector
Development Strategy to maximise UK
Already opportunities gained through R&D
operations and demonstration sites have
been converted into industrial supply chain
benefits through industrial fabrication, installation and operations
at existing sites.
"These are expected to yield further domestic and export
benefits," it says.
With the right climate and actions there are
predictions that the current employment
base of around 1900 direct jobs could go as
high as 20,000 in the next two decades.
The 20,000 figure is based on projected
capacity to 2035, as is the £6.1 billion
For the big companies to invest in larger
facilities - and demo sites - there needs to
be sufficient market visibility, with the right
combination of capital and revenue support,
RenewableUK's Chief Executive Maria
McCaffrey said when the report came out.
As with the other energy sectors, this is likely
to come down to the strike price it receives
from EMR (see page 8-9) - a guaranteed
return is needed to attract investment.
This was a key issue discussed when the
MEPB Board, chaired by then UK Climate
Minister Greg Barker, met early in 2014. Its
minutes record how he pledged the
Government's continued support for marine
energy - a promise meant to give investors
The Board is setting up sub-groups to tackle
issues as they arise. Currently there are six
of these covering Economic Benefits,
Finance (EMR), Grid Access & Island
Charging, Consent & Licensing, and The
Wave and Tidal Knowledge Network.
Manufacturing comes under the banner of
Economic Benefits and was identified as
needing targeted actions to secure more UK
On EMR specifically, the board meeting
looked at the effect on the sector of a strike
price of £305/MWh which it heard from the
Finance sub-group was "workable" for tidal
- but that the level of support for wave
developers was "undeliverable." The group is
looking at what the sector needs to deliver
the next stage of development.
In many respects marine energy is still work
in progress - and Minister Barker identified
three areas of focus. As well as asking the
Economic Benefit sub group to come up
with "creative initiatives" to help the UK -
and its supply chain - benefit as the sector
moves forward, he also called for more
focus on engineering innovation and more to
be done on developing a long term strategy
Wave device from
Pelamis Wave Power
(PWP) which has a
manufacturing base in
Scotland. Most of its £70
million funding has come
from overseas, but the
vast majority of its spend
to date has been with UK