The UK government has secured £ 20 million annually in ring fence support for tidal power projects, putting the lifeline on developers of technologies that are expected to provide a stable future green power source.
Developers hope that the government’s continued refusal to ring-fence funding for the tide at next month’s major renewable energy auctions will lead the UK to the emerging ocean energy sector. Warned that it could be fatal.
UK companies are world leaders in tidal power development Orkney Scotland has both the world’s first commercial offshore turbine array and the largest individual turbines.
However, the sector is struggling to secure funding as it competes with much cheaper and more mature technologies, such as offshore wind power at government contract auctions. Early marine power technology also suffered from engineering challenges as devices had to withstand the rigors of the ocean.
“Today’s investments provide great impetus for tidal forces to become an important part. Next Generation Renewable Power Project“The UK Secretary of Business and Energy, Kwasi Kwaten, said: statement on Wednesday.
Britain’s move followed intense lobbying by the marine energy sector and pressure in parliament over the past few weeks from opposition politicians, including the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.
The UK’s “Contract for Difference” auction guarantees a fixed price of electricity to generate for the number of years agreed by the winning bidder, significantly reducing the risk of projects based on relatively new technologies. Guaranteed income helps developers raise private funding to fund the scheme.
The £ 20m fenced around is only a small part of the £ 285m annual auction starting December 13. However, Gavin Smart, Head of Analysis at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Innovation Center, said it would “kick start” the UK tide. A stream in the global sector with great potential.
“I’m sure many people inside and outside the industry want a bigger budget, but this is £ 20m more than yesterday!” Smart wrote in. Blog post..
Neil Kermode of Orkney’s European Marine Energy Center, which is the focus of tidal power technology development, said the announcement was a major bailout for the sector. “We are absolutely confident that it will work and that it will give the government the confidence to do more in the future,” Carmode said.
Compared to intermittent wind and solar, tidal power provides what the UK government calls “tide clockwork predictability.”
“Including this in the UK’s low-carbon energy mix makes it easier to match supply and demand,” he said.
However, while there are many potential tidal power generation locations around the world, developers often find cheaper ways to meet the technical challenges of utilizing strong currents in difficult marine environments. is needed.
Orbital, the developer of the world’s most powerful 2 MW tidal energy machine, said the decision “verified” the UK tidal power market.
“We have long sought funding from this type of ring fence to develop this important technology and build more of our own industry around it,” said Andrew Scott. .. Orbit Chief executive officer.
SIMEC Atlantis Energy, developer of the MeyGen tidal power project in the Pentland Firth between the Orkney Islands and mainland Scotland. Said Earlier this month, all that was needed to introduce another 80 MW there was a “route to the market.”
Tidal power funding offers lifeline to marine energy developers Source link Tidal power funding offers lifeline to marine energy developers
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