Pioneers of Britain’s success in tidal stream generation today greeted the government’s 15-year pledge to support the technology, along with its world-spanning, power-spinning potential.
In a joint statement to investors, engineers Nova Innovation and Atlantis Energy welcomed D-BEIS’s unveiling of a new, ring-fenced £20 million per year budget, available for 15 years to submerged turbines, as part of the government’s Contracts for Difference (CfDs) arrangements.
D-BEIS announced its long-term funding package for tidal turbines on Wednesday, providing further details in yesterday’s revised framework for the upcoming Allocation Round 4 of Contracts for Difference.
Announcing Westminster’s long-term support, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack described the Conservatives’ allocation of funding for tidal power across the UK as “tremendous news”.
“Harnessing the powers of our seas is a vital step in our transition to the use of greener, cleaner energy and underlines the UK government’s commitment to create and protect highly-skilled jobs while on our journey to Net Zero by 2050“, the minister said.
This morning Nova and Atlantis together voiced their appreciation.
Nova Innovation CEO Simon Forrest said: “We are delighted that tidal stream energy has been recognised by the UK Government as a core part of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“The ring-fenced investment will deliver a route to market for tidal energy companies such as Nova Innovation and Atlantis Energy, turbocharging the delivery of tidal energy across the world.”
Atlantis Energy is the subsea wing of global clean tech generators SIMEC Atlantis. The group’s projects include the conversion of the former Uskmouth coal-fired power station to burn waste pellets. The marine unit’s CEO Graham Reid added:
“We would like to thank all who have championed our industry and believed in the global role tidal stream energy can play in the fight against climate change.”
Both innovators teamed up earlier this year to accelerate the gestation of the MeyGen tidal site in the Pentland Firth near John O’Groats.
With four trial turbines each of 1.5 MW already commissioned towards a potential capacity of 400MW, MeyGen in the Pentland Firth is the largest consented tidal power location in the world.
Home to the world’s biggest tidal array and to the world’s most powerful tidal stream turbines, it has all consents necessary to deploy 80MW of tidal power as its next stage.
By mid-century, power generation across all the UK’s tidal races could be bigger than all of the nation’s present nuclear output. A recent report by the Royal Society highlighted that the UK is capable of delivering over 11GW of tidal stream energy by 2050, 50% greater than current nuclear capacity.
The innovators share the belief that tidal stream energy can deliver 100% clean, 100% predictable energy, without visual impact, complementing intermittent renewables like wind and solar.
Export earnings beckon. With in-country partners, Atlantis is already developing its marine turbines off western Japan, having passed technical tests set by Tokyo’s government.