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Taming the tides

Taming the tides

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The power of the ocean is apparent to all and we are now much closer to harnessing that energy to power our lifestyle. According to the British Cartographic Society the length of coastline of Great Britain plus its principal islands is just shy of 20,000 miles, so it comes as no surprise that marine energy is considered to hold great potential as a future energy source. According to research by The Carbon Trust - Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) - this has the potential to deliver more than 75TWh a year; over 10 per cent of the UK's predicted needs, by mid century. Predictions of how much of that energy can be harvested by 2050 vary from 20GW to zero. What is clear, however, is that it will not have any impact before 2020. The same report pointed to the pricing pressures that marine energy will face. It predicts that it will need to reduce costs by 50-75 per cent by 2025 if it is to compete with offshore wind power. This level of cost reduction is ambitious but conceivable with significant economies of scale and innovation, combined with supply chain optimisation and appropriate financing.

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