Ecotricity to compete for UK's first tidal project

Ecotricity will compete to build Britain's first tidal lagoon site ahead of the Government's independent review of tidal energy in the spring.

An artists' impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which has been planned for the eastern side of Swansea Bay

An artists' impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which has been planned for the eastern side of Swansea Bay

The green energy supplier will release details of its plans later this year and has urged the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to “take its time” with the review, which will look more closely at the costs and benefits of tidal energy.

Ecotricity claims it can build the site for a strike price of around £90/MWh – compared to estimates for rival site Swansea Bay of up to £168/MWh. Prime Minister David Cameron recently raised concerns over the high levels of subsidies being mooted for tidal power.

Price tag

Founder of Ecotricity Dale Vince said: “The Government has been agonising for a while about what level of support to give to the first tidal project in Britain. They’re clearly interested in the technology, which is a good thing, but they’ve been put off by the price tag of £168/MWh proposed by Swansea Bay – that’s understandable.

“We welcome the review, because we’re confident that tidal power projects can be built around Britain at much closer to £90/MWh - that’s the same price the Government are paying to support nuclear energy, but without the risks or clean-up costs.

“We’re hoping this review will lead to the Government supporting tidal energy in Britain and doing it in a way that will enable competition, and through that value for money – enabling tidal mills to achieve their true potential in Britain.”

Financial frameworks

The Government will launch its independent review into the feasibility of tidal lagoon energy in the UK this spring. Tidal Lagoon Power, developer of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, alongside other industry stakeholders is expected to take part in the review which will consider whether tidal lagoon contributions to the future of the UK’s energy mix are cost effective and present “value for money”.

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of tidal lagoon power, the review will also consider supply chain opportunities, possible finance structures and whether a competitive framework could be put in place for the delivery of projects.

Saffron Johnson

This article first appeared on edie's sister title, Utility Week


| David Cameron | DECC | tidal energy | wave power | renewables


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