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Tidal Range Energy Opportunity for the UK

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date8/11/2022
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventTidal Range Energy Opportunity for the UK - Online, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 8/11/2022 → …
Conference number: 20553


SeminarTidal Range Energy Opportunity for the UK
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period8/11/22 → …
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Energy prices are high, putting pressure on households and businesses. In the short term, there is no easy fix. Tidal range power offers the UK a level of independence from global prices and in the long-term cheap clean power. The UK has one of the best tidal resources in the world, the second-highest tidal range in the world, and almost half of the European tidal range resource however tidal range projects are currently under development. The UK Government has multiple policy commitments including levelling up, environmental protection, social, health, and economic security. Each policy makes calls on public funding that must be effectively prioritized; a barrage delivers several targets and eventually pays for itself and makes a profit. Engineering is offering a solution to multiple problems that the Government (and the world) are facing in terms of environmental protection and safeguarding our future. The obvious question for the UK with one of the best tidal resources globally is why haven't we already got a tidal scheme barrage? In the recent past the idea of environmental protection worked against large infrastructure (e.g. Baroness Young (then CEO of the Environment Agency) and the Severn barrage), but now the argument is turned on its head (especially for coastal protection) - conservation can only be delivered in the short term by these schemes; they can be considered to be an Ark. Tidal Range projects can deliver so much more (transport, innovation, social benefits, load balancing, etc.). Currently, the Tidal Range projects under development offer an achievable 10 GW installed capacity, delivering over 20TWh/y, about 5% of UK energy use. Based on the UK relevant resource availability there is the potential to increase further this installed capacity over 4 to 5 times with other tidal range project sites around the UK. Can assist the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuel power stations. The current UK total generating capacity is around 42.8 GW which includes fossil fuels (19.2GW 44.9%), renewables (16.5GW, 38.5%), and low carbon (7.1GW - 16.6%). The French La Rance Tidal Range plant today is the cheapest operating plant in the EDF fleet. Tidal Energy does not suffer from intermittency, is highly predictable generated both day and night, build for 120 years, and could be captured at the time we need it to avoid intermittency and storage problems.