Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 09:46 UK

Value of offshore renewable energy is revealed

Stormy sea
The report says the UK has the potential to become a net power exporter

The first full economic valuation of offshore renewable energy has suggested it could power the UK and create thousands of jobs.

The report said wind and wave power could generate the same amount of electricity as is currently achieved by North Sea oil and gas production.

The Offshore Valuation Group said even using a third of the total resource 145,000 jobs could be created.

By 2050 the study has predicted that the UK could export electricity.

The Offshore Valuation Group is a group of organisations drawn from across industry and government, chaired by the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC).

Tim Helweg-Larsen, director of PIRC, said: "To discover that we own a resource with the potential to return the UK to being a net power exporter, and on a sustainable basis, is genuinely exciting, and a wake-up call to those in a position to foster the further development of this industry."

New funding

The findings of the report coincide with the All-Energy conference in Aberdeen, which is said to be Europe's largest renewable energy event.

The Co-operative Bank said it was using the event to launch a new Scottish renewables team.

The bank said it specialised in small to medium projects of up to a capital value of £25m and had seen considerable interest recently, particularly from community groups and smaller developers.

A total of £200m has been set aside for renewable projects this year which the bank said would mostly be spent in Scotland.

New Oyster

Meanwhile the energy developer Aquamarine Power has unveiled the design of its Oyster 2 wave energy converter which will be built in Scotland this summer.

The new device will deliver 250% more power than the original Oyster 1, which was successfully deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney last summer.

The Edinburgh-based company said the Oyster 2 would not only produce more energy but be simpler to install and easier to maintain.

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