Is tidal stream technology finally ready to emerge from pre-commercialization hell? It might be, thanks to the prospect of new government support in the U.K. and growing interest in China. This spring the U.K. launched a review of its contracts for difference program supporting renewables, potentially putting immature technologies like floating offshore wind and tidal energy into a separate category from traditional offshore wind and thereby giving them a realistic chance to compete for contracts. Such a move could allow for an expansion of the world’s first and only tidal stream array, according to Tim Cornelius, chief executive of developer Simec Atlantis Energy. Since November 2016, Atlantis’ four-turbine, 6-megawatt MeyGen array has been sending electricity to the grid from the seabed off the northeast of Scotland. MeyGen was celebrated as tidal stream’s first proof of commercialization, and it was originally devised to be the first phase in a much larger project. At the time, the U.K. was by far the most promising market in the world for tidal stream, with a host of developers lining up behind Atlantis with proposed projects.
GTM 8th June 2020 read more »