The UK must take urgent action to shore up its wave and tidal industries, according to Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
A study reveals that the sector could be worth around £76bn to the UK economy by 2050 but a lack of clarity on returns and timing has led to investors pulling out with pilot arrays and technology suffering.
ORE Catapult is calling for more cash from public and private sources to get the first tidal arrays to financial close. It is estimated that the tidal industry may need more than £100m of investment and wave energy almost double that.
The body has identified five ways to speed up commercialisation of technology and make investment less risky.
These cover achieving greater alignment of the ways in which technologies are assessed, and standardising the approach to developing technologies.
Greater coordination between private and public sector investors is also key, as is greater coordination of due diligence for both projects and technologies.
ORE Catapult also flags a potential role for government in underwriting debt finance for the industry.
ORE Catapult strategy and commercialisation director Stephen Wyatt said: “Wave and tidal technologies represent a vital part of our future renewable energy mix in terms of the social and economic benefits they bring but sector funding has reached a critical juncture and it is vital we act now in order to bolster this strategically important market for the UK economy.”