The government has announced it will invest a staggering £20m in Tidal Stream electricity each year across the UK, unlocking vast potential for Scottish tidal power.
This sizeable investment is part of the UK’s flagship renewable energy auction scheme. Kickstarting a novel chapter for Scotland’s tidal industry and creating jobs across the Scottish coastal regions. The funding will go towards strengthening marine technologies which could benefit the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Tidal power for a green future
Tidal power has the potential to be a very reliable source of generation, given the clockwork predictability of the tides. Including this in Scotland’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.
Scotland is a pioneer for tidal tech
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As a pioneer for tidal technologies, Scotland is 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 Scottish 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.
Towards net zero and green jobs
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added: “This UK Government allocation of funding for the tidal industry in Scotland, and across the UK, is tremendous news. Harnessing the powers of our seas is a vital step in our transition to the use of greener, cleaner energy and underlines the UK Government’s commitment to create and protect highly skilled jobs while on our journey to net zero by 2050.
“With strong wind and solar power industries in the UK it is the natural next step to explore our tidal energy capabilities. It’s an exciting development in support of our domestically-produced renewable energy sources.”
Clean electricity generation
Energy Minister Greg Hands, explained: “The development of Scotland’s renewables industry is a major UK success story, with our renewable energy auction scheme playing a vital role in 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 Scotland’s coastal communities and advancing the possibilities for the Scottish marine energy sector to play a significant role in delivering the UK’s green industrial revolution.”
Innovation in the sector
CEO of Renewable UK, Dan McGrail said: “This is a major step forward for the UK’s world-leading tidal energy industry, allowing us to ramp up the roll-out of our cutting-edge marine technologies and increase the pace of innovation in the sector to become more cost competitive. Ring-fenced funding for tidal stream doesn’t just unlock private investment and secure green jobs today – it also puts us in pole position to capitalise on exports to the global market in due course. That’s why we’ve been calling for this dedicated pot of funding for tidal power.
“We need a range of renewable technologies to get us to net zero as fast as possible. As an island nation with superb tidal energy resources to harness, it’s clear that tidal stream should have a key role to play in our shift to clean energy.”
Renewable energy in Britain
Chair of the UK Marine Energy Council, Sue Barr, concluded: “The impact of this support cannot be overstated. Here in the UK we have the knowledge, skills, people and projects to lead the world in marine energy, but we have been missing a vital piece of the puzzle to unlock investment and allow the sector to scale-up and deliver. The marine energy sector stretches the length and breadth of the UK – from the Isle of Wight to Orkney and Shetland.
“This dedicated ringfence will secure our domestic market, support decarbonisation and will enable tidal stream energy to develop; delivering export opportunities, green jobs, and economic growth in the process. We are grateful to Ministers and the broader UK Government for having listened, understood and acted. This new support for tidal stream brings us one step closer to delivering a Great British success story that will provide both environmental benefits through the generation of renewable energy alongside UK-wide supply chain benefits.”