Our Industry

The marine renewable energy industry is on the rise.  In 2012 and 2013 the sector saw an unprecedented level of investment, with many multi-national engineering firms taking a controlling interest in a number of specialist marine energy manufacturers. In addition, many technology companies have joined forces with utility companies to form organisations capable of developing large commercial tidal and wave power projects.

The UK Government has shown its commitment to marine renewables by setting competitive strike prices for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy through to 2019.

Furthermore, through schemes such as the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD), Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and the Marine Energy: Supporting Array Technologies (MESAT), the UK and Scottish Governments have committed over £50M in grant funding to the industry.

Funds have also been pledged to the sector by The Crown Estate and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), who have each committed £20M in investment.

Between 2010 and 2012 The Crown Estate licensed almost 40 wave and tidal sites throughout the UK.  These sites mean that there is now a substantial pipeline of viable projects with capacity amounting to 100 to 200MW expected by the end of 2020. In the long term it is believed that marine energy could provide 20% of the UK’s electricity demand:

Potential to meet energy demands Max: 15-20% UK electricity demand  Worldwide: 2000-4000 TWh/year In the UK a realistic scenario is 13.2 GW by 2050 (~11%)
Potential to make carbon savings UK: 50-100 MtCO2
Worldwide: 200-700 MtCO2
Security of supply Large indigenous energy resources
Potential to create economic benefits UK: Significant export opportunities.
Job creation through design manufacturing, as well as deployment and servicing. Est. 16,000 from wave, and c.10,000 from tidal
Value add to UK economy £3bn / year
Global market size est. £8 bn.
UK advantages over other countries Strong academic R&D capacity
Concentration of technology development companies
Ability to exploit knowledge/skills in traditional maritime/offshore industries

Table courtesy of The Carbon Trust, Marine Energy Briefing 2012

All of these marine projects will be predicated on a detailed understanding of the marine environment across the various sites.  Accurately predicting the magnitude and nature of the loading on subsea structures is key to ensuring that they meet their performance criteria.

As a result it is estimated that the market for ocean survey in support of the UK marine energy industry will be over £3.5M by the end of 2016, increasing rapidly as the industry ramps up to meet the national carbon reduction commitments.