Europe still leads the world in tidal energy installations, and European tidal stream projects generated 50% more electricity in 2019 than the year before, according to new statistics.

Tidal stream energy is increasing

European tidal stream capacity continued to climb in 2019. Photo: Ocean Energy Europe

Ocean Energy Europe's 'Ocean Energy key trends and statistics 2019' publication shows European tidal stream capacity continued to climb in 2019, reaching 27.7MW cumulatively - almost four times as much as the rest of the world. This is despite a slowdown in deployments as developers prepare for larger projects to hit the water in the next few years.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: "Predictable ocean energy, producing at different times from wind and solar, will be a vital tool to support the transformation of Europe’s energy system towards a zero-carbon future.”

During 2019, electricity produced by tidal energy added 15 gigawatt-hours to Europe’s running total – which hit 49 gigawatt-hours at the end of the year.

In the wave energy sector, installed capacity in Europe grew by 25%. Several projects hit the water along the Atlantic and North Sea coasts, taking Europe’s cumulative installations to 11.8MW.

Outside of Europe, the first of several European-led projects in Canada reached financial close, thanks to a dedicated Feed-In Tariff for tidal energy.

Although Europe remains at the forefront of wave energy in terms of cumulative capacity and technological excellence, the gap is narrowing. Annual installations in other parts of the world have, for the second year running, overtaken Europe. The US and China are beginning to reap the rewards of sustained investments in RD&I, with combined installations of 1.8MW in 2019.