UK government urged to strengthen support for tidal energy

01 Apr 2021

The UK government is being urged to show greater support for tidal energy in its net-zero planning, and to engage constructively with the sector to advance new projects to commercialisation.

Members of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said the tidal sector can make ‘a significant and distinct contribution’ to the UK’s energy mix, and its potential benefits ‘merit government support for the development of this sector’ to a stage where significant commercial investments can be attracted.

Suggestions include funding detailed studies to take tidal range projects beyond concept stage, discussing an administrative price strike for tidal stream projects in upcoming contracts for difference auctions, and considering a power purchase agreement model to avoid costs being passed onto household bills.

There is currently around one gigawatt (GW) of new tidal stream capacity in the development pipeline in the UK, with around 10GW already in operation.

Estimates suggest this capacity could increase to as much as 50GW if projects are advanced to commercialisation – enough to supply around 20% of the country’s electricity.

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