Wave return

A new economic analysis shows the UK could generate up to £70bn for the economy and almost 250,000 jobs by investing in offshore wind and wave power alone.


The analysis from the Carbon Trust also revealed that exploiting these two renewable sources could provide at least 15 per cent of the total carbon savings required to meet the UK’s 2050 targets.


Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said Britain can transform itself into a global hub of low-carbon innovation by making investments with greater technology prioritisation.


The Carbon Trust believes it will require technology-focused investment of up to £600m in research and development. The group also believes government will need to remove regulatory barriers and provide new incentive mechanisms to accelerate deployment of offshore wind power around the UK coasts.


With this, the Carbon Trust believes the UK could seize 45 per cent of the global offshore wind market by 2020, delivering £65bn of net economic value and 220,000 total jobs by 2050.


The organisation estimated two-thirds of this economic value will come from the low-carbon technology export market, which could be unlocked by ensuring that investment into the UK is made attractive.


According to its analysis, 25 per cent of the world’s wave technologies are already being developed in the UK. Britain could therefore be the ‘natural owner’ of the global wave power market, generating revenues worth £2bn per year by 2050 and up to 16,000 direct jobs.


The Carbon Trust feels the maximum economic benefit can only be generated for the UK if funding gaps in the wave sector are addressed.


‘These technologies are not green “nice to haves” but are critical to the economic recovery of the UK,’ said Delay.


He added: ‘To reap the significant rewards from their successful development we must prioritise and comprehensively back the technologies that offer the best chance of securing long-term carbon savings, jobs and revenue for Britain.


‘We have known for a while that the UK has an important role to play in the clean-tech revolution. But, rather than following in the footsteps of others, this new analysis shows it is an economic no-brainer to be leading from the front. The global race is clearly on and the clock is ticking.’