LONDON (Reuters) - The government will give up to 20 million pounds to two prototype projects which harness electricity produced using the power of waves or tides.
The competition for funding will open in spring next year to support an industry which the government says can meet 15-20 percent of Britain’s current power demand by 2050.
“Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a potential 15 billion pounds to the economy to 2050,” Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said in a statement.
French engineering group Alstom said last week it may install roughly 100 megawatts of wave power by 2020, after it bought a 40 percent stake in Scottish wave power developer AWS Ocean Energy.
Britain has to meet stringent carbon emission reduction targets, including generating 15 percent of power from renewable energy sources by the end of this decade.
The government announced last November that 200 million pounds of public funds will be invested in low-carbon technologies.
Thirty percent of the funding will go towards adapting Britain’s ports to offshore wind power infrastructure to support major growth expected in the sector.
Britain has allocated offshore locations to build up to 32 gigawatts of wind power farms on sea.
Funding for marine energy projects will also come from the low-carbon technologies budget, leaving 120 million pounds in government money to support other renewable energy projects.
The government said on Tuesday it will announce later in the year how the remainder of the funding will be allocated.
Reporting by Karolin Schaps