New Inquiry: The future of marine renewables in the UK

06 July 2011

The Energy and Climate Change Committee, chaired by Tim Yeo MP, is today launching an inquiry to investigate the potential for marine renewables (wave and tidal) to contribute towards the UK’s renewables and emissions targets.

The UK has the largest wave and tidal resources in Europe. The Carbon Trust has estimated that around 15–20% of the UK’s electricity could potentially be produced from marine renewable sources (based on the available resource). A range of technologies is being developed to harness these resources, but most are immature and still at an early stage of development. 


The Government has provided funding to the research and development of marine technologies through a number of routes, including the £50 million Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) created by the previous Government. The Spending Review of November 2010 announced innovation funding of over £200 million for low carbon technologies over the next four financial years, from April 2011. On 28 June 2011, DECC announced that £20 million of this funding would be used to support two projects to test prototypes in array formations.


Terms of Reference

The inquiry will assess the success of existing Government support and measures on marine renewables and investigate the potential impact of Government spending decisions on this area of low carbon technology.

Please note, the focus of this inquiry will be wave and tidal energy only.

The Committee invites submissions on marine renewables, in particular:

  • What are the potential benefits that marine renewables could bring to the UK and should Government be supporting the development of these particular technologies?
  • How effective have existing Government policies and initiatives on marine renewables been in supporting the development and deployment of these technologies?
  • What lessons can be learnt from experiences within the UK and from other countries to date in supporting the development and deployment of marine renewables?
  • Is publicly provided innovation funding necessary for the development of marine technologies and if so, why?
  • What non-financial barriers are there to the development of marine renewables?
  • To what extent is the supply chain for marine renewables based in the UK and how does Government policy affect the development of these industries? 
  • What approach should Government take to supporting marine renewables in the future?
  • Are there any other issues relating to the future of marine renewables in the UK that you think the Committee should be aware of?

Written evidence is invited from interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Thursday 8 September.


Notes on submitting written evidence

Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format-please do not use PDF format-and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is Thursday 8 September 2011. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. However, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this matter.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

Share this page