Wave Energy Opportunities for UK Renewables Future

08 November by Sally Woods


The dramatic improvement in the competitiveness of renewable energy (wind and solar) is forcing the UK government to take another look at the industry.

In a new report from Imperial College London and Strathclyde University, focusing on wave energy innovation, they took at the significant contribution wave energy can have on the UK energy mix and push for the government to learn from past investment mistakes made in previous renewable energy development.

The new report states that post-Brexit EU funding needs to be retained and that it is essential to develop a long-term strategy for wave energy (particularly in Scotland) to enable the formation of a strong niche market in this sector.

There are ten policy recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the UK’s future support for wave energy innovation, including:

  • Retaining access to EU research and development funding post-Brexit
  • Developing a long-term wave energy strategy, especially for Scotland
  • Improving coordination of research and development support within and across government
  • Avoiding competition for subsidies with more established technologies, such as offshore wind and tidal stream
  • Support the formation of niche market for wave energy deployment

Despite £200m of public funds being invested in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) since 2000 the technology has yet to reach commercialisation and be widely deployed in the UK. 

However, the report concludes that lessons learned from this have led to a major reconfiguration of support for UK wave energy innovation, including the redesign of government RD&D programmes (e.g. Wave Energy Scotland), new networks of key stakeholders and the addition of new world-class test facilities (e.g. FloWaveTT).

Download the report: Examining the effectiveness of support for UK wave energy innovation since 2000

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