LETTER TO EDITOR: If Atlantis (Resources) is a Colossus, it’s only because there is so little tidal energy in operation


Much reporting of energy matters is blighted by hype and PR. Scottish Energy News is usually a bit better than most at seeing through it. 

But not in the case of the reference today to Atlantis Resources. Atlantis is an important company.  It deserves our praise and support for what it is attempting in MeyGen.  Unlike weather-dependent renewables, tidal flows are very predictable. This is immensely important pioneering work. 

But if it is a “colossus” in tidal energy, that is mainly because there is so little in operation, especially open-sea installations rather than lagoons.

To describe it as “building an ‘under water power station’ the size of the now-shut coal-fired Longannet and Cockenzie power stations” is misleading.**  Longannet alone had a capacity of 2,400 MW.  MeyGen has a proposed capacity of 398 MW with only the initial 6MW phase installed. 

Atlantis Resources website states that they have “more than 1,000 megawatts in various stages of development” worldwide – less than half of Longannet alone.

In no way do I wish to denigrate the work of Atlantis at MeyGen. But too much thinking about energy is confused, especially in the public mind, by hype rather than the hard arithmetic of reality.

Dr. D. Gordon



(full address supplied)

** This error of fact  in yesterday’s article has been corrected – in line with the publisher’s editorial policy.



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