‘Huge mistake’: Britain throwing away lead in tidal energy, say developers. Nation is a leader in capturing tidal and wave energy, but companies are starting to leave due to lack of government support. Britain is throwing away its opportunity to rule the global wave and tidal energy sector due to lack of government support, a series of leading developers have told the Guardian. The nation is currently seen as a world leader in capturing renewable energy from the oceans but some companies are already heading for new shores. This is putting other countries, such as France and Canada, in prime position to capitalise on the jobs being created by the emerging industry, the companies say. Ocean energy is needed alongside other renewables to provide the huge amount of clean electricity that will be required to phase out fossil fuel use and fight climate change, proponents argue. Tidal energy has the particular advantage of being entirely reliable and the European Union predicts 100GW of ocean energy will be installed by 2050, the equivalent of 100 large conventional power stations. But despite good UK government funding for research and development, support to put the devices into commercial use is now missing. Ministers are soon expected to reject a tidal barrage scheme in Swansea as too costly, but to back a new nuclear plant in Wales. Sustainable Marine Energy, a British company that developed and tested its floating tidal turbines in Scotland, is now taking its device to Canada, citing “more support” from the government there. Another tidal turbine company, Atlantis, whose MeyGen project in Orkney is the world’s first large-scale tidal array connected to the grid, is looking to France, where a major government tender is expected in the coming months.
Guardian 19th June 2018 read more »