There is “no real incentive” to choose marine energy over proven renewable technologies like as wind and solar, according to a report by the Crown Estate Scotland.
The Scottish Government public body claimed yesterday that despite the potential of wave and tidal technology there was still a “limited rational” over cheaper alternative power sources.
However, while the study found little requirement for marine energy on a national scale it did favour it as the best option in more remote areas.
Mark McKean, development manager for Crown Estate Scotland, confirmed the Crown Estate Scotland report recognised that “there are currently more mature technologies which currently produce cheaper energy”.
But he added that the report also saw wave and tidal as “important contributors” to local and regional energy sources around the coastal regions of Scotland.
Dick Winchester, part of the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board, agreed with the report’s recommendation to focus on wind and solar for large-scale national power generation.
Biomass is presently the largest U.S. renewable energy source with more than 200 existing biopower plants now providing electricity for 1.5 million American homes; manure-to-energy biogas projects are expanding and could power up to 3% of North America’s electricity needs.
He said: “Onshore wind is cheaper and less risky in terms of reliability because of its maturity.
“This reinforces my view that the market for these technologies will be limited and that’s despite the advantage that tidal has predictability, although that may be overcome now with better energy storage mechanisms including hydrogen.
“I just don’t believe wave has a place at all other than as a means of keeping researchers amused.”