Tidal powers up with ringfenced CfD

The Government has unveiled its biggest investment to date in tidal power energy generation with the announcement of £20m per year in tidal stream electricity as part of its flagship renewable energy auction scheme.

As part of the fourth allocation round of the Contracts for Difference Scheme due to open next month, the Government will ensure that £20m per year will be ringfenced for tidal stream projects, giving the marine energy sector a chance to develop its technology and lower the costs in a similar way to the offshore wind industry. This will bring the total funding for this allocation round to £285m per year.

The scheme’s design has in the past in reduced costs significantly - between the first allocation round in 2015 and the most recent round in 2019, the price per unit (MWh) of offshore wind has fallen by 65 per cent.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As an island nation we are perfectly placed to capitalise on clean marine energy, building on our booming offshore wind sector which is now a British industrial success story. We hope to see marine energy follow in the successful footprints of other renewable technologies, where we’ve seen costs fall dramatically in recent years thanks to UK government support.”

RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail added: “This is a major step forward for the UK's world class tidal energy industry, allowing us to ramp up the roll-out of our cutting-edge marine technologies and increase the pace of innovation in the sector to become more cost-competitive. Ringfenced funding for tidal stream doesn't just unlock private investment and secure green jobs - it also puts us in pole position to lead the global market in due course. That’s why we’ve been calling for a dedicated pot of funding for tidal power.”

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