The €46.8m (£40m) project aims to drive growth and innovation in tidal stream energy by installing up to 8MW of new tidal capacity at sites in and around the Channel region.
The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser project, known as Tiger, is led by the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, from its office in Hayle, Cornwall. Tiger comprises 19 partners from across the UK and France spanning turbine developers, ocean energy demonstration sites, research organisations, as well local and regional authorities.
Dr Stephen Wyatt, research & innovation director for ORE Catapult, said: “We are delighted to be spearheading this game-changing tidal energy project. Developing successful UK and European collaborations is important for the UK tidal energy industry and will help accelerate the economic, environmental and societal benefits which can be derived from this emerging sector.
“This project brings together multiple organisations from across the UK and French supply chains to work towards validating the pathway to commercialisation, ensuring that sustainable, predictable and affordable tidal electricity plays a role our future energy mix as we tackle the global climate emergency.”
The approval has been given by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which aims to fund high-quality cooperation projects between France and the UK. The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser project, known as Tiger, is the biggest-ever Interreg project. More than two-thirds of the funding – €28m – comes from the European Regional Development Fund via the programme.
Tiger falls within the programme’s funding category for low-carbon technologies, whose managing authority is Norfolk County Council and which co-funds collaborative projects between organisations in the south of the UK and north of France.
Carolyn Reid, programme manager for Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, said: “This is a hugely ambitious project that will demonstrate the benefits of harnessing tidal energy on a large scale. The long-term aim is to support the industry to reduce generating costs of tidal stream energy from the existing €300MW/h to €150MW/h by 2025 and increase uptake. There is an EU target to reach €100/MWh by 2030.
“The project has a clear link to the programme objective to increase the development and uptake of existing or new low-carbon technologies in sectors that have the highest potential for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Tiger is a shining example of how European funding has enabled collaboration between organisations in the UK and France that may otherwise never have happened, and in this case could have a massive impact on reducing the carbon footprint beyond the lifetime of the project, and beyond the Channel area.”
Turbines submerged off the coast will harness the energy of tidal currents that will be converted into electricity.
The total theoretical tidal energy capacity in the Channel region is nearly 4GW, enough to power up to three million homes. Proving that tidal energy generation can be cost-effective on a large scale could open the door for it to become the renewable energy of choice in coastal locations, said the project.
Tiger’s UK project partners are:
- Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Cornwall
- University of Exeter, Cornwall and Devon
- University of Plymouth, Devon
- University of Manchester, Manchester
- Cambrian Offshore South West, Cornwall
- Trident Renewable Energy Systems, Isle of Wight
- Orbital Marine Power, Edinburgh
- European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney
Tiger’s French project partners are:
- Normandie Hydroliennes
- Bretagne Developpement Innovation
- CMN (Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie)
- Morbihan Hydro Energies SASU
- University of Caen Normandy
- University Le Havre Normandy
- University Bretagne Sud