On 7th May retired civil engineer and group member Richard Marks gave a highly informative presentation on the different methods of generating energy from the sea. He gave an overview of the UK’s current and planned marine energy production, pointing out how much more could be done despite the UK being the current global leader in the field. He was particularly critical of the present UK government including floating offshore wind generated energy under the category of marine energy, which he said was wrong and potentially misleading. He discussed costs compared with other renewables and non-renewables, explaining how some of the cost comparisons that are produced do not include all aspects of installation, maintenance, distribution and decommissioning, which when included make some forms of marine energy production cost competitive with others such as nuclear.
His presentation was followed by an opportunity for questions and further discussion.
Generating Energy from the Sea (flyer for the meeting)
Marine energy is energy harnessed from the sea – from waves, tidal streams and tidal range – to generate electricity.
The UK is surrounded by sea. More wave and tidal energy devices have been deployed in UK waters than in the rest of the world combined. Tidal flows and waves are significant resources and we should be developing ways to exploit them far more than we do at present.
Yet the recent publication of the British Energy Security Strategy (BESS) on 7 April 2022 omits any mention of marine energy, instead promoting offshore wind energy and nuclear energy.
Richard Marks is a former civil engineer who managed the development of a worldwide Green Ports initiative (making seaports more sustainable) in a Dutch owned consultancy.
He also advised teams planning offshore wind farms in UK waters and produced a report for East Anglia Offshore Wind on suitable North Sea port facilities. Now retired, Richard is a member of LI Germany & Switzerland and of LI for a Green New Deal.
The present Government put out a consultation on the potential for marine energy between 28 August 2020 and 30 September 2020. They are still analysing feedback! But the consultation controversially broadened the definition of marine energy to include floating offshore wind energy.
The BESS sets out an ambition to deliver up to 5GW of floating wind energy by 2030 but mentions no other marine energy. This meeting will attempt to explain why this is a lost opportunity for secure sustainable energy.
You can see the slides Richard showed below.
(To the best of our knowledge the images contained in Richard’s slides do not infringe any copyrights, but if you believe differently please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)