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New report shows extent of UK wave and tidal resources

11 October 2012

Waves

The Crown Estate today published findings of a new study into the UK's wave and tidal energy resources, to help inform industry and government about the potential for future projects.

The report finds there is potential for tens of gigawatts of wave, tidal stream and tidal range projects at sites around England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Scottish waters offer the majority of the UK's wave resources and there are also significant wave resources off southwest England and Wales. There are similar amounts of tidal stream resources in English, Scottish and Welsh waters and also tidal stream resources off Northern Ireland; and England and Wales share the largest single area of tidal range resources in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Hastings, Director of the Energy & Infrastructure Portfolio, said: "This report reflects our strategic interest in supporting development of wave and tidal projects around the UK. We hope it is a useful reference for both companies advancing development plans and government bodies implementing industry support measures. While the science of wave and tidal resource assessment is still emerging, and future work will clarify the resources that are practically available, it is clear that wave and tidal energy could contribute substantially to the UK's electricity needs. Improving understanding about the extent and locations of resources will help to accelerate development in a sustainable way."

The study was undertaken by The Crown Estate in association with a number of organisations with responsibilities for marine planning, including the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Welsh Government, as well as Regen SW.

A summary report is available to download below, and a companion technical methodology report will be published shortly.

Further information

UK wave and tidal key resource areas project – summary report (PDF, 600 KB)

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