The first tidal stream auction winners under the UK’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will generate more than 40MW of electricity for British homes and businesses.
With its £20m (€23m) commitment for the sector, the UK joins Canada and France in providing revenue support to unlock the huge potential of the innovative ocean energy industry.
”Tidal energy can now take its rightful place in the UK’s mainstream electricity supply. It is time for the EU to follow suit by actioning the commitments made in its offshore renewables strategy. Europe has long been the global leader in developing and deploying renewable energy – by dragging its heels on the Strategy, the EU now risks being left behind,” said Remi Gruet, CEO, Ocean Energy Europe.
Ocean Energy said that by awarding contracts to three projects - Orbital Marine Eday 1 & 2, Morlais Magallanes and Meygen Phase 2, the UK government also ensures healthy competition and large-scale growth potential across several tidal technologies.
Two contracts were awarded to Orbital Marine Power’s 7.2MW multi-turbine Eday project in Orkney, Scotland, which will deploy their innovative floating technology. In Wales, another floating tidal project, the 5.62MW Morlais Magallanes, will be powered by Spanish tidal technology.
Lastly, the Meygen project, which has been providing power to the grid since 2016, will now be able to expand its generating capacity by 28MW with a second project phase.
Gruet warned though that for the tidal industry’s progress to be sustained, it is vital that the UK government creates long-term visibility by continuing to include ringfenced allowances in future allocation rounds.
He added that the EU must now accelerate the implementation of its ’Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy’ to hold on to its place as a frontrunner in the developing global ocean energy market.
“Delivering on the Strategy’s actions, particularly funding and coordination with EU Member States, will give the European ocean energy sector the chance to deploy at scale and rapidly lower costs,” he added.