Government action plan aims to use marine energy to reduce carbon emissions

Up to 15 million homes could be powered by energy from the sea according to a new action plan launched by the government today.

The plan, which has been developed by government and industry, sets out the actions needed to drive the marine energy sector forward. Recommendations include forming a UK-wide strategic coordination group to develop a planning roadmap for all types of marine renewables, consideration of support levels for marine technologies plus ensuring that the appropriate levels of targeted funding are available to bridge the technology gap.

Launching the plan at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, home to the world's first operating, commercial-scale tidal stream turbine, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister of state for energy said: "Harnessing the power of our seas will help us reduce our carbon emissions, provide clean, green, secure and reliable energy, create jobs and provide export opportunities. This action plan sets out our vision for what marine energy can do for the UK and what we need to do to make it happen."

According to the plan harnessing the full potential of marine energy could save up to 70million tonnes of C02 by 2050.

Lord Hunt also announced the establishment of a ministerial task force on marine energy, which will bring together key players to oversee future work on the action plan.