The numbers from today’s report by the Carbon Trust into the potential of marine energy are impressive.
According to the report, the total global market for wave and tidal could be worth up to £40bn per annum by 2050. UK companies could realistically capture around 22 per cent, or £76bn, of the total market theoretically accessible to them, the report concludes, generating 68,000 jobs in the process.
But before green campaigners in the UK jump with joy, there are a number of conditions attached to these projections, not least of which is the idea that other renewable sources have to suffer in order for marine energy to snatch this much market share.
More than three quarters of small and medium sized cleantech businesses in the UK plan to recruit in the next 12 months, according to a report*.
The findings, from a survey of 312 companies by the CleanTech Group on behalf of the Carbon Trust, will give a boost to government hopes for a recovery founded on green jobs.
Benj Sykes, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust, told Energy Source:
This is evidence that green growth is going to be an engine for growth. There is a recognition that this is an agenda that is not going to fail because of financial constraints.
The British government has finally announced what we have known for a while: that it will keep in place the £60m of investment pledged by the last government to improve infrastructure for offshore wind.
David Cameron told the CBI annual conference:
To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports. And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.
It’s a triple win. It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.
Want £100,000? All you have to do is come up with a way of getting engineers and equipment out to the wind farms of the future.
Except it’s not quite as simple as that. While wind farms today are located typically less than 20km from the shore, the next generation of farms could be as far out as 300km, where waves can reach three metres high.
In conditions such as those, transporting workers and equipment out to the farms themselves is pretty difficult, and we’re not just talking about the seasickness that traditionally accompanies such trips.