Tidal energy shows great potential: Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas said it welcomed the UK government’s plans to invest in the tidal energy industry, suggesting that tidal stream electricity has the potential to become one of the most viable and reliable sources of renewable energy in the world.

The government investment is part of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which invites renewable energy companies from across Britain to bid for a share of £285 million ($382 million) of funding for low-carbon technologies. A total of £20 million ($26.8 million) per year has been ring-fenced for tidal stream projects.

Bureau Veritas said the move was a positive opportunity for the marine energy sector and it hopes that the investment will build upon the success of the offshore wind sector and provide a viable, and perhaps even stronger, alternative to wind and solar energy generation.

Mauricio Pereira, head of renewable energy at Bureau Veritas, said tidal stream electricity has the potential to become one of the leading sources of renewable energy in the world.

“The energy potential of tides can be predicted for years to come with tidal turbines able to harness the energy of high and low tides down to the minute. Additional benefits of the investment … include the creation of new ‘green’ jobs, and the potential to re-distribute and upskill employees of fossil fuel industries. It also means that by having more options for renewable energy here in the UK, we’re in a much better position to move away from fossil fuel reliance; a crucial requirement if we’re to keep 1.5 degrees in reach.

“The ring-fenced £20m in the CfD Scheme is almost on par with that of floating off-shore wind (£24m), suggesting that the focus to alternative renewable energy sources is well and truly shifting. The funding made available as part of the CfD Scheme will support in allowing the marine energy sector the opportunity to focus on research, rapid innovation and the acceleration required to meet net zero targets. Currently, the cost for tidal power technology is incredibly high, however with the investment the Government is committing to – which will drive an increased focus on R&D – there is the potential for costs to drastically reduce as happened with offshore wind; making tidal energy a tangible option for the future.”

Bureau Veritas is an independent renewable energy expert working with the marine energy sector in accelerating the energy transition and moving toward a low-carbon future.