Tidal lagoon energy “cheaper than offshore wind”

Electricity generated by the strong tidal pull of lagoons could give as much bang for the buck as rival renewable energy sources like offshore wind, suggests new research released today. […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Electricity generated by the strong tidal pull of lagoons could give as much bang for the buck as rival renewable energy sources like offshore wind, suggests new research released today.

The study by Pöyry Management Consulting looked at the cost needs of three tidal lagoon projects currently being developed by the company Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP).

TLP claims these could add more than 25 terrawatt hours (TWh) per year of low carbon power to the UK’s energy mix if they’re built.

The study included the renewable energy subsidy the projects might get from government, the Contract for Difference (CfD).

It found the levelised cost of electricity for the first three lagoons is £100/MWh (on a volume-weighted basis).

However this appears to be an average of all three with the first priced at around £168, the second £130 and the third £92/MWh. Offshore wind projects are priced at £155/MWh for government subsidy.

The cheapest of the lagoon projects studied, Lagoon 3, has levelised costs broadly similar to DECC’s assessment of the cost of onshore wind, large scale solar PV project, nuclear power and gas-fired generation, according to Poyry.

The research is likely to put a spring in the step of the developers behind Swansea Bay’s tidal project.