The scheme will be funded from the £50M (US$92M) Marine Research Deployment Fund announced in August and will support the UK’s wave and tidal industry to construct demonstration farms around the country.

‘This new scheme marks a watershed,’ said O’Brien. ‘It will kickstart construction of large scale demonstration farms and will for the first time see wave and tidal power feeding into the national grid.

‘The UK is already by far the most attractive place to develop these emerging technologies, and it’s now clear that there are a number of exciting wave and tidal projects on the verge of pre-commercial operation.’

Philip Wolfe of the Renewable Power Association, whose Ocean Energy Group represents wave and tidal energy companies, said: ‘This will enable British industry to maintain world leadership in this crucial renewable energy sector. We are particularly pleased that the DTI has worked so closely with the industry and other stakeholders in developing this scheme.’