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Investment barriers and incentives for marine renewable energy in the UK: An analysis of investor preferences

Simeon Leete, Jingjing Xu and David Wheeler

Energy Policy, 2013, vol. 60, issue C, 866-875

Abstract: Deployment of marine renewable energy (MRE) in the UK is desirable in order to address climate change, meet mandatory EU renewable energy targets and provide significant economic development opportunities, including new export markets. Public funding constraints in the UK mean that substantial investment is required from the private sector to commercialize the industry. By focussing on investor attitudes and behaviours towards wave and tidal technologies, this paper reveals significant observations from the investment community with serious implications for the future of the MRE industry. Through a series of in-depth interviews with individuals from the investment community, device developers and industry support, the research seeks to identify common barriers and incentives to investment. The paper demonstrates that although investors' attitudes are generally aligned, they do appear to have changed over time. Of the participants that had previously invested in early stage MRE device development, none were likely to do so again. It is concluded that this is a function of investors' greater understanding of the scale, and unpredictability of the costs, and the length of time required to develop these technologies. This presents a significant policy challenge for all actors interested in the commercialization of wave and tidal technologies.

Keywords: Marine renewable energy; Venture capital; Investor preference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.05.011

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