Tidal and wave power ‘more expensive than expected’

The development of marine energy technologies is taking longer than hoped and costing more money than expected, a new report claims. That’s due to project setbacks, “fatigue among venture capital […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The development of marine energy technologies is taking longer than hoped and costing more money than expected, a new report claims.

That’s due to project setbacks, “fatigue among venture capital investors” and the difficulty of deploying devices in the “harsh” marine environment, according to analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

They have reduced projections for tidal and wave power installations to 148MW and 21MW respectively by 2020 – from 167MW for tidal and 74MW for wave that BNEF published a year ago.

Its latest report suggests a number of wave power companies have “failed or faltered” in the last 12 months.

Angus McCrone, Senior Analyst at BNEF said: “Governments in countries such as the UK, France, Australia and Canada have identified tidal and wave as large opportunities not just for clean power generation but also for creating local jobs and building national technological expertise.

“That continues to be the case and we will see further progress over the rest of this decade. But caution is necessary because taking devices from the small-scale demonstrator stage to the pre-commercial array stage is proving even more expensive and time-consuming than many companies – and their investors – expected.”