UK government announces biggest investment into Britain’s tidal power

The UK government is backing tidal energy as part of its flagship renewable energy auction scheme, announcing today its biggest investment in a generation into tidal power.

The UK government will invest £20 million per year in Tidal Stream electricity as part of its flagship renewable energy auction scheme, kickstarting a brand-new chapter for the tidal industry and creating jobs across the UK.

Today’s announcement (24 November 2021) will unlock the potential for a thriving UK tidal power sector, with the cash boost supporting marine technologies which could benefit the whole of the UK.

As part of the fourth allocation round of the Contracts for Difference Scheme due to open next month, the UK government will ensure that £20 million per year will be ringfenced for Tidal Stream projects, giving the marine energy sector a chance to develop their technology and lower their costs in a similar way to the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry. This will bring the total funding for this allocation round to £285 million per year.

Over time marine technologies have the potential to significantly contribute to our decarbonisation commitments and will supports hundreds of green jobs across the country, with projects currently in development in North-West Scotland, North Wales and the Southern coast of England.

Tidal energy has the potential to be a very reliable source of generation, given the clockwork predictability of the tides. Including this in the UK’s low-carbon energy mix will make it easier to match supply with demand, building on the UK government’s commitment to build a strong, home-grown renewable energy sector to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“As an island nation we are perfectly placed to capitalise on clean marine energy, building on our booming offshore wind sector which is now a British industrial success story. We hope to see marine energy follow in the successful footprints of other renewable technologies, where we’ve seen costs fall dramatically in recent years thanks to UK government support. The investment today provides a major push for tidal power to become a key part of the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to strengthen energy security as we work to reduce our dependency on volatile fossil fuels.

Energy Minister Greg Hands, said:

“Our renewable energy auction scheme has been vital to the UK becoming a world leader in clean electricity generation and helping to bring down prices for consumers. Today’s dedicated backing for tidal stream power is opening up a new chapter for Britain’s coastal communities and advancing the possibilities for Britain’s marine energy sector to play a significant role in delivering the UK’s green industrial revolution.”

Full details of all Contracts for Difference scheme announcements will be released on Thursday 25 November where the UK government will outline plans to launch the biggest ever Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round, with this new ringfencing for Tidal Stream expected to bring the total budget for the fourth allocation to £285 million per year.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s primary method of encouraging investment in low-carbon electricity. The scheme has helped to deliver substantial new investment and reductions in the costs of capital for some renewable technologies, such as helping to reduce the price of offshore wind by 65%.

 

 

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