£390k grant for tidal power EIA

22nd August 2011

Deltastream 0

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  • Renewable



The company developing Wales' first tidal energy array has been awarded £390,000 of funding by the Carbon Trust to monitor its impact on the local environment.

Tidal Energy, based in Cardiff, will be deploying a full-scale tidal generator next year off the Pembrokeshire coast after securing planning consent and the necessary EU funding from the Welsh Assembly government in July.

The Carbon Trust, which has been advising the firm since February 2011, will be providing up to 60% of the money the renewable technology firm needs to ensure there is a comprehensive environmental impact assessment during the device’s 12-month demonstration period.

The grant, matched by a contribution from the firm’s majority stakeholder, will enable Tidal Energy to monitor the generator’s impact on the surrounding marine environment.

Tidal Energy has confirmed it will share its findings with the rest of the marine energy sector.

“We believe our device can combine high efficiency and portability with the crucial advantage of being environmentally benign,” said Chris Williams, development director at Tidal Energy. “We are grateful to the Carbon Trust for helping fund assessments that we hope will verify this. By making data available to the market, we hope others can benefit from our research.”

Benj Sykes, director of innovation at the Carbon Trust, said: “The UK’s marine energy industry is world-leading and generating energy from the tides could be a major driver of green growth for us.

“This grant should provide essential insight into the effects of tidal turbines in sensitive marine environments and, as the findings will be made publicly available, benefit the entire industry.”

Tidal Energy’s DeltaStream device sits on the seabed and generates 1.2MW of electricity from three turbines mounted on a common frame. During its demonstration period the device will provide electricity for up to 1,000 homes in nearby St Davids.

The Welsh government, in its Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework launched in March, argued that tidal and wave energy in Welsh waters had the potential to provide 4GW of renewable electricity each year by 2025 – enough to power two million homes.

“This represents a huge opportunity, but in order to achieve this goal, we must understand more about how devices interact with the marine environment,” said Williams.

The Carbon Trust earlier this year estimated that the marine energy market could by worth up to £76 billion to the UK economy by 2050 and could generate more than 68,000 jobs.


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