The global marine power industry could be worth as much as 460 billion pounds ($760 billion) by 2050, with the U.K. comprising a sixth of the market, Carbon Trust said today.
Power generated from the waves and tides could bring 76 billion pounds to the British economy, including 68,000 jobs created over four decades, the government-funded trust said. Those jobs would be due to growing export markets in countries such as Chile, the U.S. and European nations on the Atlantic, it said in an e-mail.
“Marine energy could be a major ‘made in Britain’ success,” Benj Sykes, director of innovations at Carbon Trust, said in a statement. “By cementing our early mover advantage, the U.K. could develop a significant export market, generate thousands of jobs and meet our own demand for clean, homegrown electricity.”
Marine power costs will need to come down for the industry to grow and there is a high risk of “much smaller, or zero deployment” of the technologies, the Carbon Trust said.
It costs about $396.10 to generate a megawatt-hour of power from the waves and $315.98 for tidal power, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That compares with $83.20 for onshore wind, $70.07 for coal and $59.76 for natural gas.
U.K. marine energy capacity could reach 27.5 gigawatts by 2050, enough to meet more than a fifth of current demand, the trust said. Globally, 240 gigawatts may be developed over the next four decades, three-quarters of that from wave power, it said.
The U.K. is home to 35 of the world’s 120 to 130 companies developing wave and tidal power, according to the Carbon Trust. They include Marine Current Turbines Ltd., a Bristol-based company whose shareholders include Siemens AG (SIE), and Pelamis Wave Power Ltd. in Edinburgh.
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