Wera Hobhouse MP calls for the UK to harness the “revolutionary” potential of tidal stream energy to slash household bills by £1bn

18 Dec 2023

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and spokesperson for Energy, hosted a roundtable with the UK Marine Energy Council on the 13th of December in the House of Commons. She welcomed leaders from the tidal stream industry and the Marine Energy Council to Parliament to discuss the opportunities presented by tidal stream energy for a secure and affordable transition to net zero. 

 

The Liberal Democrat MP and spokesperson for Energy Security hailed the promising potential of tidal stream energy for the UK. The UK could power at least 11% of our current electricity demand with its tidal stream capacity. The Marine Energy Council predicts that the UK has the resource and maritime expertise to become world leaders in tidal stream energy. 

 

Mrs Hobhouse is enthusiastic about the potential for tidal stream energy to provide predictable renewable energy security to the UK. Tidal stream is projected to be cheaper than new nuclear power by 2035 and could save £1bn per year for UK households. It could also boost the UK economy by £1.4bn by 2030 and support thousands of new green jobs. 

 

During the roundtable event, the group discussed the potential to harness wave power in the UK. Wave power is a rapidly developing technology and, with the possibility of co-locating wind and wave power, could benefit the consumer by making the energy system much more cost-effective. Recent research shows that co-locating wave and wind energy will deliver a saving of up to 12% in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for both projects.  

 

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and spokesperson for Energy Security and Net Zero, commented: 

 

“We have the potential to become world leaders with tidal stream energy. It is a reliable source of renewable energy which we can easily harness using our own tides. This could be revolutionary for the UK’s secure and cost-effective transition to net zero. 

 

“We are currently letting other countries lead the way to net zero, leaving us far behind, by not harnessing the power of renewable energy that is easily accessible right here in the UK. Tidal stream energy represents an opportunity for the UK to once again be a global leader on climate action. We must not let it pass us by.” 

 

Richard Arnold, Policy Director of the Marine Energy Council, said: 

 

“It was fantastic to meet with Wera Hobhouse and provide an update on the exciting developments in the marine energy sector. The UK is on track to deliver over 100MW of tidal stream capacity by 2028. The industry is ready to go further and is asking parties in Westminster to commit to a 1GW tidal stream and 300MW wave energy target by 2035. 

 

“Whilst tidal stream is predictable, wave energy is the world’s largest untapped energy resource. Despite the UK’s massive wave potential there currently is not a clear route to market. The MEC looks forward to working with Wera and the UK Government to realise this potential, get technology in the water, and harness the power of the UK’s seas in addressing climate change.”

Wera Hobhouse MP with the Marine Energy Council