The UK’s fledgling wave and tidal power industries are to be boosted with a £20 million cash injection from the crown estate.

The indication of interest in making cash investments from the crown estate, which owns the seabed around the UK and thus stands to benefit to a great extent from the expansion of marine power, will be a major fillip to the sector, which was depressed by the decision in 2011 to cut the government’s fund for marine energy from £50m to £20m.

Wave and tidal projects have been difficult to fund in the UK, despite the fact that the UK has some of the best locations for these sorts of renewable energy projects.

But the technology is still in its infancy compared with technologies such as wind and solar power, which have been proven for decades.

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