The UK Parliament's cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is tasked with considering the extent to which the policies and programmes of government and public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development.
In a recent report - discussed in detail on the ReNEWS.biz website - the EAC notes that there are "notable gaps on renewable energy" in the Government's British Energy Security Strategy, and argues that "the short-term potential of onshore wind and the long-term potential of tidal power were not given as much focus as other technologies".
The EAC report recognises that "Tidal and other marine energy projects should be a vital component of the Government’s strategies for delivering both net zero and energy security", and goes on to recommend that "the Government incorporate, as part of the revised net zero strategy to be published by March 2023, an approach to developing tidal and marine energy that includes a stated ambition for the sector set out in gigawatts of generating capacity. The UK should be aiming to generate a significant proportion of its power from these sources by the middle of the 2030s".
According to the UK Marine Energy Council, tidal stream energy is entirely predictable, can be deployed quickly, and could potentially provide 11% of the UK’s electricity demand, while wave energy could provide over 20%. It will be interesting to see whether the Government takes on board the EAC's recommendations in its upcoming net zero strategy, and recognises the untapped potential of the UK's oceans.