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Library >> Renewable Energy Resource Maps >> Europe >> Ocean >> United Kingdom

Ocean Energy in the United Kingdom

Average wave power

The map shows the potential of wave energy in the British Isles. In contrast to the tides, the potential of wave energy decreases towards the coast. Since the construction of wave energy stations well away from the coast would be very costly, exposed peninsulas or coastal islands would be particularly suitable sites for such power stations.

The figures refer to the power transported by a wave front one metre in length. This would be the average output of a power station (per metre of wave absorber) which should ideally be 100 % effective.
The unit of measurement is explained in the glossary (kW/m).

Mean Wave Power

More detailed regional studies suggest that the accessible resource in waters around the UK (which takes into account constraints on available sites for a wide variety of reasons) could be as much as 700TWh/y, almost double electricity consumption. However, the extent to which this will prove practical to harness will depend upon the successful development of both near shore and deep water technologies. Indeed, in 2001 the Science and Technology Committee reported that, based on estimates from the DTI's Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU), in the UK alone, wave energy devices could practicably contribute more than 50 TWh/y.


Annual Tide Power

In 2001, the former Energy Minister Brian Wilson listed 42 sites around the UK that would be suitable for tidal stream generation. This reflects the findings of the 2001 ETSU paper that also suggested that the ten most promising tidal stream sites could offer a potential of 36 TWh/y. However, Scottish Enterprise comment that it is estimated that at least 34% of the UK's electricity demand could be generated from tidal currents, which on a European level would be a contribution of nearly 5%. Tidal power has the distinct advantage of being highly predictable compared with some other forms of renewable energy. The regularity of the tides, along with the huge energy potential, therefore helps to make tidal energy development an attractive resource option. (more maps)


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Related GENI Resources
Definition Ocean Energy
Current Articles on Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission

National Energy Grid Maps

Interactive Renewable Energy Map for the UK

EUEA (European Ocean Energy Association)
European Wave Energy Thematic Network

Updated: 2016/06/30

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