The UK government has urged international neighbours to help unlock €450 million (£385 million) of investment in marine power projects.
Energy minister Charles Hendy said Britain could become a European marine energy hub, and joined with Denmark, France, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and Spain in calling for EU financial support to kickstart projects.
A paper backed by these seven countries, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands, said tidal energy could supply as much as 15 per cent of EU demand by 2050.
The paper also said the sector could:
• employ up to 26,000 people directly across the European Union in 2020, rising as high as 314,000 by 2050, and
• generate over €450m (£385 million) of investment by 2050 and new opportunities for coastal communities across Europe
Mr Hendy said: “There is an abundant energy resource in European waters and there is a clear appetite from individual states to make the most of it.
“Here in the UK we have set out ambitious plans to be a world leader in marine energy and get projects off the drawing board and into the water. And more international cooperation can help bring marine energy forward faster, develop supply chains, and support jobs.”