Strategic Context

The UK has significant marine energy resources around its coastline, but, to date these remain largely unexploited.

The successful commercial development of wave and tidal systems exploiting this resource could deliver a significant proportion of future UK electricity needs.

Increasing investor confidence is critical to accelerating the deployment of marine energy technologies in the UK.

The ETI’s Marine Energy Programme addresses key industry technology challenges by supporting the sea-trials of near-commercial marine energy systems, and through the development and demonstration of key technologies, systems and tools that support the acceleration of the industry.

Programme Aim

  • Increase deployment to 2GW by 2020 and towards 30GW by 2050.
  • Reduce electricity costs to be competitive with established renewables by 2020 and with conventional generation by 2050.
  • Increase unit availability (not including weather risks) to 90% by 2020 and 99% by 2050.

Project summaries

Please click the following projects below for detail:

WEC (Wave Energy Convertor)

Project summary lead image WEC (Wave Energy Convertor)

ETI Investment

£1.4 million

Date announced

February 2013

Project Partners

  • Pelamis Wave Power


This project will examine innovation across device design and test alternative materials to steel in the construction of and the best possible layout of arrays. The aim is identify routes to cost effective installation and operation for wave energy technology in UK waters.

Pelamis Wave Power, a UK SME will use their Pelamsis P2 device for this project, to accelerate the development of the design of offshore wave energy convertors that use the motion of waves to generate electricity.

Successful results from the first phase of the project will hopefully move designs forward to commercial readiness through a further demonstration phases.

The project's results should help inform the best routes and supply-chains to ultimately develop commercially viable wave energy technologies when deployed in multi-array wave energy farms.


Project summary lead image ReDAPT

ETI Investment


Date announced

January 2009

Completion date

Summer 2014

Project Partners

  • Rolls-Royce
  • Tidal Generations
  • EMEC
  • E-ON
  • EDF Energy
  • Garrad Hassan
  • PML (Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • The University of Edinburgh


One of the key developments of the marine energy industry in the UK is the demonstration of near commercial scale devices in real sea-state conditions. Project ReDAPT will install an innovative 1MW tidal generator at the
European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. The project will test the performance of the tidal generator in different operational conditions. Its aim is to increase public and industry confidence in tidal turbine technologies by providing a wide range of environmental impact and performance information, as well as demonstrating a new, reliable turbine design.


Project summary lead image PerAWaT

ETI Investment


Date announced

October 2009

Completion date

End of 2013

Project Partners

  • DNV GL
  • EDF Energy
  • E-ON
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • The University of Manchester


This project is producing tools capable of accurately estimating the energy yield of major wave and tidal stream energy converters.

Numerical models of devices, interactions between devices in arrays and interactions between arrays at the coastal scale are being developed during the project. These models are being validated using extensive scale model tank testing and full scale data from in-service devices where appropriate. 

It will provide an accurate assessment of the likely cost of energy production from large scale wave and tidal arrays reducing the uncertainty and risk faced by marine array developers, utilities and investors. It will also help facilitate large scale deployment of marine energy arrays.

Project partner DNV GL have produced a software tool with outputs from this project.

The software tool WaveDyn was launched in October 2012.

For more information on WaveDyn visit the DNV GL website or view this brochure.

In 2014 DNV GL produced two further software models - TidalFarmer and WaveFarmer

TidalFarmer uses a three-dimensional representation of the resource to accurately predict the performance of a tidal stream farm. The calculation engine includes corrections for local blockage effects due to device arrangement, the modelling of interactions between multiple devices and the increase in turbulence intensity downstream.

WaveFarmer is linked to three separate calculation engines, enabling it to determine hydrodynamic interaction effects for farms ranging from a handful of devices to utility-scale projects. An advanced Genetic Algorithm finds the best farm layout for a particular location. The tool then lets the user explore energy yield, power absoprtion, data tables, graphs and maps to gain considerable insight into their future marine energy project.

For more information please click here.

Wet-mate Connector

Project summary lead image Wet-mate Connector

ETI Investment


Date announced

November 2009

Completion date

Spring 2012

Project Partners

  • MacArtney


This project is designing and assembling a high voltage generic wet-mate connector and stab-plate mechanism, which will be tested and demonstrated under both workshop and real-sea conditions.

Wet-mate connectors link offshore energy sources to the cables transmitting the electricity to shore. The availability of wet-mate connectors with a significantly higher rating of 11kV instead of the currently available 6.6kV would reduce the number of cables required. This project will directly address a major challenge that is constraining the development of the marine energy sector.

Although there is a clear industry need, funding from individual wave and tidal developers is not currently available at the required levels and existing deep-water connectors are too expensive for these applications.

For more information on the Wet-mate connector click here

Offshore renewable industrial doctorate centre

Project summary lead image Offshore renewable industrial doctorate centre

ETI Investment

ETI £5.1m
EPSRC £1.4m

Date announced

August 2011

Project Partners

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Exeter
  • The University of Strathclyde Glasgow
  • The Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • HR Wallingford


An Industrial Doctorate Centre in renewable energy technologies, funded by the ETI and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will take its first intake of students in January 2012.

The Centre will train up to 50 students in the research and skills needed to accelerate the development of renewable energy technologies. Each will spend part of their training with the three universities in the consortium.

The students will spend most of their training time in ETI Member companies, as part of the ETI’s major project delivery teams, as well as in other renewable industry organisations. The students will each gain an internationally-leading engineering doctorate.

The drive to meet the UK’s ambitious deployment targets for offshore renewable energy technologies requires a steady supply of highly trained engineers, scientists and leaders. We anticipate that this new Industrial Doctorate Centre will contribute significantly to that requirement.

If you wish to find out more, click here.

Tidal Modelling

Project summary lead image Tidal Modelling

ETI Investment


Date announced

October 2011

Completion date

End of 2012

Project Partners

  • Black and Veatch
  • HR Wallingford
  • The University of Edinburgh


This project will model the UK’s tidal energy resources to help improve understanding of the possible interactions between the various tidal energy extraction systems expected to be deployed between now and 2050.

It will develop models of the whole UK Continental Shelf that will be used to investigate how energy extraction at one site may affect the energy available elsewhere. A wide range of possible future tidal current and tidal range sites, with differing technology possibilities will be represented in the models.

The project will identify how the interactions between different sites around the UK combine to form overall flow effects, and what constraints these interactions will place on the design, development and location of future systems.

At the end of the project the models will be made available to the wider marine industry to help inform future plans and strategies through a service provided by HR Wallingford.

The Tidal Energy Converter (TEC) System Demonstrator

Project summary lead image The Tidal Energy Converter (TEC) System Demonstrator

ETI Investment


Project Partners

  • Atlantis
  • Black & Veatch
  • Lockheed Martin


This project is taking a whole system and through life approach to identifying, developing and proving the best route to a commercially viable cost of energy from tidal stream technologies when deployed at an array scale.
It involves a broad range of the marine technology base and will identify supply chain solutions applicable to many devices.

Phase 1 of the project is being led by Atlantis Resources Corporation and project managed by Black & Veatch. The project is drawing on the systems integration and technology skills of Lockheed Martin, as well as many leading technology providers in the marine industry.

If Phase 1 is successful the project will move to a second phase during which the system and sub-system solutions will be developed towards commercial readiness and the system demonstrated in a realistic offshore environment.

To view ETI Marine Programme Manager Simon Cheeseman explaining the project click here


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