ETI outlines steps for tidal power to make waves

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has outlined the steps needed to accelerate tidal stream energy. Before the tidal resource can be exploited to its fullest commercial extent, the group says a successful Contract for Difference (CfD) for the […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has outlined the steps needed to accelerate tidal stream energy.

Before the tidal resource can be exploited to its fullest commercial extent, the group says a successful Contract for Difference (CfD) for the technology is crucial.

This would incentivise investments in the reliable, predictable source of generation by providing stability and predictability to future returns.

The ETI also suggests the 398MW Meygen project needs to be increasingly supported as a flagship example of what the technology can achieve – the Scottish site one of the largest tidal arrays in construction globally.

The group says tidal stream energy could play a significant role in the green energy transition but is much better suited to supplying specific areas rather than a blanket contributor to the grid.

Remote areas are generally the best for tidal generation as they seem to have the strongest tides.

As a result, the ETI say the technology is best used serving inhabited coastal locations as a primary source of electricity to cut down on transmission losses.

Stuart Bradley, ETI Offshore Renewables Strategy Manager said: “A rethink is required in wave to bring costs down. Policy makers need to review the evidence base and decide the exact contribution of marine energy to a future low carbon energy industry so the industry can move ahead, improve cost performance and contribute positively.”