Cameron backs 'world-leading' tidal power plan
The Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed his support for a proposed tidal energy project off the coast of the Isle of Wight.
The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) will provide the world's first grid-connected tidal array test facility. Export cables on the sea-bed will bring electricity from the site to an onshore substation.
PTEC submitted a planning application in November 2014 and, if consent is granted, work will begin in 2016 or 2017.
Tidal power uses the movement of the tides to slowly rotate a turbine which activates a generator to produce electricity. It is the only technology that draws on energy inherent in the orbital characteristics of the earth-moon system.
During Prime Minister's Questions yesterday (8 January), a Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight asked Mr Cameron if he would support PTEC's project to which he replied: "The UK is now the most attractive market in the world for investment in offshore wind and marine renewables.
"We want to maintain that world-leading position, harness the economic and environmental benefits it brings and see local centres of expertise.
"From what I can see, the Perpetuus tidal energy centre sounds exactly the sort of exciting initiative we should support."
PTEC project manager Mark Francis said: "It [the project] will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, reinforcing the UK's reputation as world-leaders in the wave and tidal industry.
"We have already undertaken a comprehensive programme of engagement with regulators, the local community and other stakeholders, and will continue to work closely with them as the project progresses.
"We look forward to working with the MMO and Local Planning Authority during the consent determination process, which is due to end in 2015."
In July, the Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed, confirmed leasing agreements for 11 new wave and tidal energy sites across Scotland, England and Wales.