Research by Ocean Energy Europe has revealed that Europe is still the hot-spot for tidal stream energy installations, with Scotland leading the pack.
Since 2010 Europe has deployed 26MW of tidal stream energy generators and 11.3MW of wave energy generators in its waters. Scotland accounts for over a third of all of Europe’s operational tidal capacity.
Tidal stream power installations outside Europe are also on the rise, with capacity jumping from zero in 2015 to a total of 6.7MW by the end of 2018.
A further 129MW of tidal barrage and tidal stream projects had been granted planning permission for sites off the coast of Scotland. The 40MW Lewis Oyster Wave Array has been also approved for Scotland’s Isle of Lewis.
Scotland will remain a favourite for testing innovative new tidal generators after Crown Estate Scotland extended the current lease of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) testing site in Orkney, Scotland for an additonal 20 years.
Wales could become the world leader if the 320MW Swansea bay tidal lagoon project is completed. Hopes for the project were lifted recently with increased interest in private funding for the project.
Ocean Energy Europe chief executive officer Rémi Gruet, emphasised the importance of incentives to keep the sector innovating and growing. “The power, and learnings, produced by ocean energy technologies in recent years clearly show that it is possible to generate large quantities of electricity from the sea,” he said.
“What we now need to reach industrialisation is revenue support – just like other renewables, and indeed fossil fuels, have also received.”
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.