The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has today emphasised the substantial potential of the tidal power sector to contribute to the UK’s renewable energy mix. In a letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the EAC has reflected on evidence it received in the latest stage of its Technological innovations and climate change inquiry. Members heard that current tidal stream projects in development already have the capacity to deliver 1GW of electricity to the grid. The EAC recognises the benefits of tidal stream technology in boosting technology clusters in coastal locations with optimal tidal flow, increasing inward investment and driving the development of specialist supply chains, which are principally UK-based. There is also significant export potential, with UK knowledge and expertise helping other nations with tidal power projects. However, the EAC heard that tidal range projects – such as lagoons and barrages – are stuck at the concept stage, without sufficient funding to undertake studies required to secure further backing to assess long-term viability. The EAC urges the Government to consider the important benefits of tidal stream and tidal range, and to offer support across the sector. In particular, the Government should discuss an administrative strike price for Contracts for Difference round 4 which will allow tidal stream projects in development to proceed to the grid offer.
House of Commons 31st March 2021 read more »