Tidal Power Sees Wave Of UK Gov’t Investment

There’s been good news for the past few years for researchers and developers in Scotland and the United Kingdom (U.K.) concentrating on harnessing the power of tides for energy. In fact, just recently, Scotland was given approval to create a 10 MW tidal power array. Being surrounded by water certainly has its advantages, and the U.K. is beginning to see tidal power as a smart investment in renewable energy.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced funding of up to £20 million to marine industry development from large-scale prototypes to larger formations in the sea. This comes from £200 million to fund low-carbon technologies. According to Barker, the power created from the tides is enough to potentially meet 15-20 percent of the U.K.‘s energy needs, while supplying nearly £15 billion to the U.K. economy by 2050.

Image via Hammerfest Strom

The U.K. has one of the most comprehensive marine support programs that helps during the earliest stages of development to commercial use. Funding comes from the government during early stage research through the Research Councils’ SuperGen Marine program and later research is funded by various entities including Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Carbon Trust and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The scheme is expected to open in spring next year, according to the U.K. government, and, subject to a value for money assessment, will support two projects to test prototypes in array formations – the final development stage in generating large scale electricity from marine power prior to commercial roll out.

Curious to know more about tidal power? Check out our story archive on the subject.