wind and tidal power
Engineers stand near the Atlantis Resources AK-1000 tidal energy turbine before it is shipped to the European Marine Energy Centre test site, at the port in Invergordon, Northern Scotland

In order to ensure the country retains their global leadership on wave and tidal power, the UK government has been told, by its Members of Parliament on Sunday, they ought to have a more visionary approach.

The Energy and Climate Change select committee drew on the example of the country losing its early lead in the global wind power sector (due to a lack of support) and insisted the same not happen with marine energy sources. The committee suggested that as much as 20 percent of the UK's power could be generated from waves and the movement of tides, according to a report by the Press Association (PA). Moreover the report recommended increasing funding and improving links between the UK and Scottish programmes, reports the BBC.

Furthermore the MPs said the country could lead the development of wave and tidal energy technology, which could also bring job opportunities and economic benefits along with opportunities to export equipment and skills. By the end of 2020, the industry could provide 10,000 jobs and about 68,000 by mid-century and the sector could be worth £76 billion in the country.

The UK is currently the leader in wave and tidal stream power and seven out of eight large-scale prototype wave and tidal devices installed worldwide are in the UK. However, these are not expected to make a large contribution to its energy mix before 2020.

Finally, the report warns that an over-cautious approach may allow other countries to steal the UK's lead.

"In the eighties the UK squandered the lead it had in wind power development and now Denmark has a large share of the worldwide market in turbine manufacturing. It should be a priority for the government to ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of developments in this technology and does not allow our lead to slip," Reuters has quoted MP and Committee Chairman, Tim Yeo, as saying.