Illustration/Artist’s impression of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon (Courtesy of Tidal Lagoon Power)

Welsh government starts assessing applications for tidal lagoon challenge

The Welsh government has started the review of 10 applications received from more than 20 organizations as part of its €860,000 (£750,000) Tidal Lagoon Challenge.

Illustration/Artist’s impression of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon (Courtesy of Tidal Lagoon Power)

Launched by the Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford earlier in 2023, the grant fund was set up to directly support research, as part of the government’s commitment to make Wales a world center for emerging tidal energy technologies.

The money will be made available for at least three research projects focusing on the deployment of tidal lagoon technology.

The funded research will help address the barriers that have so far prevented the development of the technology and give more insight into the benefits it could bring to Wales.

The Welsh government has confirmed 10 applications have been received from 22 organizations, showing strong collaboration between academia and the industry.

The work conducted under the Tidal Lagoon Challenge will enable the application of research excellence to the sector and support the growth of a knowledge base that will smooth the path to future tidal lagoon delivery in Wales, according to the government.

Applications closed on September 18, and those received are now under review. The successful applicants will be asked to take part in stage 2 of the process in October 2023, with winners expected to be announced in spring 2024.

Tom Hill, Marine Energy Wales’ program manager, said: “As supporters of this initiative, we are delighted to hear that so many innovative applications have been received as part of this process.

“This opportunity to fund vital learning and research puts us one step closer to enabling a first-of-its-kind tidal lagoon here in Wales.

“We wish all applicants the best of luck for the next part of the process and are excited to see the winners revealed early next year.”

Wales is home to the second largest tidal range in the world. A tidal lagoon is a power station that generates electricity from the natural rise and fall of the tides – a large volume of water is captured behind a man-made structure, which is then released to drive turbines and generate electricity.

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