Crown Estate report reveals UK’s wave and tidal resources

A report released by the Crown Estate this week shows where the UK's wave and tidal energy resources are, and it is hoped that the findings will help inform industry and government about the potential for future projects.

The Crown Estate also announced the award of over 800 MW of power generation contracts off the coast of Ireland.

The report finds there is potential for tens of gigawatts (GW) of wave, tidal stream and tidal range projects at sites around England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish waters offer the majority of the UK's wave resources and  there are also significant wave resources off southwest England and Wales. There are similar amounts of tidal stream resources in English, Scottish and Welsh waters and also tidal stream resources off Northern Ireland; and England and Wales share the largest single area of tidal range resources in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Hastings, Director of the Energy & Infrastructure Portfolio, said: “We hope it is a useful reference for both companies advancing development plans and government bodies implementing industry support measures. While the science of wave and tidal resource assessment is still emerging, and future work will clarify the resources that are practically available, it is clear that wave and tidal energy could contribute substantially to the UK's electricity needs

Meanwhile Dong Energy A/S, OpenHydro Group Ltd. and Bord Gais Eireann won rights to develop renewable- energy projects off Northern Ireland as the region takes advantage of its 400-mile coastline to generate clean power.

It entails as much as 800 MW of projects, it said today in a statement. Among the winners, Dong was chosen to work with Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. and B9 Energy Services Ltd. on a 600 MW wind farm off County Down.

OpenHydro, based in Dublin, and Irish utility Bord Gais will develop a 100-megawatt tidal power site at Torr Head. DEME Blue Energy and Cork-based DP Marine Energy Ltd. will deliver a 100 MW tidal stream park off Fair Head.

Work at the project sites is slated to start in 2015, according to Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

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