The UK could take nearly a quarter of the global marine energy market, netting £76bn for the economy by 2050, according to research by the Carbon Trust.
Employment could be boosted too, with 68,000 UK jobs created if the technology is successfully developed and promoted to growing export markets in places like Chile, Korea and America, as well as Atlantic-facing European countries.
Benj Sykes, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust said: “Marine energy could be a major ‘made in Britain’ success. By cementing our early mover advantage, the UK could develop a significant export market, generate thousands of jobs and meet our own demand for clean, home-grown electricity.
“To maintain our world-leading position, we must continue to drive innovation within the industry and turn our competitive advantage in constructing and operating marine technology into sustained green growth.”
Greater research into cost-saving technology, the development of a manufacturing supply chain and a push for commercial deployment are important steps for the industry, concluded the Marine Renewables Green Growth Paper.
The UK currently boasts around 35 of the world’s 120-strong wave energy and tidal stream device developers.