Illustration/AR1500 tidal turbine (Courtesy of SIMEC Atlantis)

UK supports 11 tidal energy projects with record capacity of over 50MW in latest CfD auction round

In its fifth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, the UK has supported 11 tidal energy projects with a record capacity of over 50MW and €11.6 million total ringfenced budget.

Illustration/AR1500 tidal turbine (Courtesy of SIMEC Atlantis)

A record number of clean energy projects have been awarded funding from the UK government’s flagship renewables scheme, helping the country to grow the economy, achieve net zero, protect families and businesses from volatile global gas prices, and strengthen energy security.

From the first annual CfD round, a total of 95 clean energy projects have been successful with their bids – up from 93 in the previous round. The latest round had budget funding of €264 million (£227 million) and has secured enough to power the equivalent of 2 million homes.

As for tidal energy, the supported projects are totaling more than 50MW – up from around 40MW backed in 2022.

The projects include SIMEC Atlantis’ MeyGen, which will see 22MW of new capacity added in Scotland; HydroWing with 10MW for project in Wales; Orbital Marine Power with 7.2MW in Scotland; Magallanes Renovables with 4.5MW in Scotland and Wales; Verdant Isles with 4.9MW in Wales; and MOR Energy with 4.5MW in Wales.

The total of 53MW of these new tidal power projects were approved at the strike price of £198.00/MWh (€230.5/MWh), and the developments are expected to come online from 2027 onwards.

While offshore wind and floating wind do not feature in this year’s allocation, this is in line with similar results in countries including Germany and Spain, as a result of the global rise in inflation and the impact on supply chains which presented challenges for projects participating in this round, according to the UK government.

UK’s energy and climate change minister Graham Stuart said: “We are delighted that our first annual CfD auction has seen a record number of successful projects across solar, onshore wind, tidal power and, for the first time, geo-thermal.

“Offshore wind is central to our ambitions to decarbonize our electricity supply and our ambition to build 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, including up to 5GW of floating wind, remains firm. The UK installed 300 new turbines last year and we will work with industry to make sure we retain our global leadership in this vital technology.

“This year’s record breaking CfD round builds on years of renewables growth under this government. Just 7% of our electricity came from renewables in 2010, yet in the first quarter of this year it reached 48% and this first annual auction will allow us to go further in powering more of Britain from Britain.”

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