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Marine energy

Carbon Trust has been working with the marine energy industry since 2003, delivering £50 million of innovation in wave and tidal stream energy technology.

The Carbon Trust is a leading independent authority on marine energy. Since launching the Marine Energy Challenge in 2003 we have worked to understand the barriers facing the industry as it moves towards commercialisation and worked with innovative companies to overcome and remove these barriers. The focus of our work has been to reduce the cost of energy from wave and tidal energy.

Carbon Trust has managed a number of programmes to help move marine energy towards full scale, commercial deployment:

Marine Energy Accelerator

Accelerating cost reduction

Marine Energy Accelerator 

Marine Renewables Proving Fund

Proving the technology

Marine Renewables Proving Fund

The Marine Renewables Proving Fund provided financial and technical support for full-scale demonstration of promising wave and tidal devices.

Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund

Demonstrating at scale

Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund

We administered the Scottish Government's Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) which provided £18 million of capital support for projects to accelerate the deployment of commercial-scale wave and tidal stream energy arrays in Scottish Waters or support innovative enabling technologies or infrastructure that will de-risk future arrays.

Marine Farm Accelerator

Support for marine array innovation

Marine Farm Accelerator

The Marine Farm Accelerator programme was launched by the Carbon Trust in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult centre to accelerate development and proving of essential technology for marine energy first arrays and enable future cost savings. The Marine Farm Accelerator was a joint industry programme, working with industry partners to agree innovation areas, and support research, demonstration and deployment of technologies to reduce risk and cost for early wave and tidal arrays.


The Carbon Trust supported the design, development and delivery of Wave Energy Scotland. Wave Energy Scotland (WES) – funded by the Scottish Government and supported by Innovate UK using the Small Business Research Initiative – takes an innovative approach to supporting the commercialisation of the wave energy sector.

Read more in the press release: Carbon Trust supports Wave Energy Scotland’s first £7 million technology innovation competition

Carbon Trust has invested in marine energy developers and provided support through our Entrepreneurs Fast Track scheme, building long term relationships with innovators. We were also a founding funder of the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. To learn more about the industry see our Accelerating Marine Energy Report (2011)

Marine energy reports and studies

Information in these reports was correct at the time of publication.

We have published a range of background reports and studies on the marine energy sector including detailed technical reports on the UK's tidal resource and wave resource

Our report Accelerating Marine Energy provides our view on how the cost of wave and tidal energy can be brought down by supporting innovation in devices and in the supply chain, and case studies of technologies supported by the Marine Energy Accelerator.

Carbon Trust led the Marine Technology Innovation Needs Assessment for the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group, which analyses the commercial potential and key economic benefits to the UK of wave and tidal stream energy.

Marine energy background reports

Technical reports

Technical overview of wave and tidal stream energy (55kb, pdf) 2006
Ocean waves and wave energy device design (600kb, pdf) 2006
Tidal streams and tidal stream energy device design (252kb, pdf) 2006
Glossary of technical terms 2006 (1642kb, pdf) 2006
Shoreline and near-shore OWC wave energy devices summary (65kb, pdf) 2006
Foundations and moorings for tidal systems (1396kB, pdf) 2009
Variability of wave and tidal stream energy - overview (81kb, pdf) 2006
ECI report on variability of UK marine energy resources (3465kb, pdf) 2005
ECI report on diversified renewable energy resources (869kb, pdf) 2006
Life-cycle energy and emissions of marine energy devices (58kb, pdf) 2006
Guidelines on standards for marine energy devices 2005
Engineering testing of marine energy devices (87kb, pdf) 2006
OWC wave energy converter evaluation (3905kb, pdf) 2005

Cost of energy

Cost estimation methodology (current 2012)
Energy capture performance (276kb, pdf) 2006
Capital, operating and maintenance costs (120kb, pdf) 2006

Resource estimation

UK wave energy resource  (1.3MB, pdf) 2012
     Appendix B: Charts  (10MB, pdf) 2012
UK tidal current resource and economic assessment (1707kb, pdf) 2011
     Appendix A: UK resource map (2MB, pdf) 2011
     Appendix B: Site charts (8MB, pdf) 2011
     Appendix C: Hydrodynamic methodlogy update (2MB, pdf) 2011

Marine Green Growth
 (350kb, pdf) 2011
Black and Veatch summary report on UK tidal stream resources (328kb, pdf) 2005
Overview of UK tidal stream resource and tidal stream technology (126kb, pdf) 2006


Read more about our work in low carbon programme design and delivery.

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