Crown Estate Scotland launches survey for tidal and wave energy sectors

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has laid out plans to carry out an in-depth survey of developers working in the tidal and wave energy sectors on behalf of Crown Estate Scotland.

The AR1500 tidal turbine (Courtesy of SIMEC Atlantis)

Views and ideas will be sought from a range of developers who are working to produce and bring to market the next generation of wave and tidal technologies, which will help inform Crown Estate Scotland’s plans to support future leasing.

Crown Estate Scotland works closely with companies, government, and local communities to facilitate appropriate tidal and wave energy developments.

This involves funding research to support growth and innovation in this vital area of renewable energy, investing in projects – such as the MeyGen tidal development in the Pentland Firth – and bringing new development opportunities to market by leasing areas of the seabed and managing the associated seabed rights. 

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Leases for tidal stream and wave energy projects of up to 30MW are currently awarded on an ad-hoc basis, with each considered on individual merit against the evaluation criteria.

This approach to leasing has been in operation since Crown Estate Scotland was formed in 2017.

However, over the recent years, there have been significant developments in the renewable energy sector, including ring-fenced support for tidal energy projects in the Contracts for Difference Allocation Rounds 4 and 5, and the recently published draft Scottish Government Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan which details ongoing support for growth of the tidal and wave sectors. 

Therefore, this engagement survey will seek to assess appetite amongst developers for future leasing opportunities; request individual project updates; seek to understand development plans and schedules; and, gather views on how improvements could be made to facilitate development of the tidal and wave sectors. 

Caitlin Byers, development manager for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “With some of the best tidal and wave energy resources in Europe, Scotland has a key role to play in leading the development and deployment of these critical forms of renewable energy.

“This survey will provide Crown Estate Scotland with insights from developers on their future project pipelines to inform our review of leasing activities.

“This will help us to ensure the leasing opportunities we offer remain appropriate for both the tidal stream and wave energy sectors over the coming years. We look forward to hearing from developers across the sectors.”

The survey will be issued by ORE Catapult during August 2023, while a summary of anonymized key findings will be published later in the year. Developers interested in participating in the market engagement survey have been encouraged to contact Crown Estate Scotland.

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