Renewable industry draws up clear new tidal power KPIs to trigger investment in £70bn market

An Atlantis MeyGen tidal turbine en route to installation off Caithness.
An Atlantis MeyGen tidal turbine en route to installation off Caithness.

The Glasgow-based Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Renewable UK, are to draw up robust, meaningful and transparent key performance indicators (KPIs) to prove how marine renewable energy can meet the Brit-Govt criteria for financial support.

OREC will select an industry steering group to produce an evidence-based objective report by the end of March 2018, which will be passed to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

If the tests are passed, it is hoped that the study will pave the way for greater government support, including much-needed revenue support in the future.

OREC chief executive Andrew Jamieson said: “Britain is already leading the world in deploying the first full-scale tidal power arrays and cutting-edge wave devices.

“It’s essential that our emerging wave and tidal developers continue to enjoy investor confidence to allow them to be brought to full commercial scale, for the economic opportunity is immense.

“This programme will work with the leading developers to set out a clear way ahead, illustrating the huge potential and ultimately driving new investment, employment, exports and growth across the country.”

The UK (in this case, Scotland, mostly) has 50% of Europe’s tidal and 35% of its wave energy resource – and the first two commercial tidal arrays in the world were launched in Scotland.

  • The first of these was installed in 2016 by Nova Innovation off the coast of the Shetlands comprising two 100 kilowatt turbines.
  • This was followed in 2017 by the first stage of Atlantis Resources’ MeyGen array in the Pentland Firth, which comprises four 1.5 megawatt turbines (6MW). 

By 2050, it is estimated that the global market for marine energy will be worth £76 billion.

15 Dec 2017

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