The report responds to the UK electricity sector’s security of supply crisis, as one third (30GW) of UK’s power plants are due to close by 2025 coupled with the need to urgently decarbonise our energy supply to meet pressing environmental targets.
ICE’s report says the rapid up-scaling of offshore renewable resources, on a similar scale to that experienced by the North Sea oil and gas sector in the 60’s and 70’s, could provide the solution.
Professor Bahaj who heads the Energy and Climate Division within SCEE, looks beyond wind, surveying the progress in the infant tidal and wave energy sectors. He notes that “the UK possesses some of the richest wave, tidal and wind resources in the world, with the potential to provide a large proportion of the UK’s current electricity demand as well as create a major new industrial sector, with significant export potential. The tidal resource around the UK waters contain a potential for 0.25 TW of power, which if one tenth was exploited, would equate to around half of the nation’s current electricity consumption.