The Marine Energy Council welcomes the continuation of the tidal stream ringfence

The Marine Energy Council (MEC) has welcomed today’s announcement that the tidal stream ringfence will continue for a third consecutive year.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has today announced that tidal stream will be set a £10m ringfence in this year’s renewable auctions. This will see the UK continue to build on the unprecedented 90MW+ tidal stream deployment pipeline that the two previous ringfences have secured.

Tidal stream and wave energy will compete in ‘Pot 2’ of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism. In recognition of supply chain cost pressures the Administrative Strike Price has increased for tidal stream by 29% to £261/MWh and 5% for wave energy to £257/MWh.

Last year 11 tidal stream projects were awarded contracts at £198/MWh, securing over 50MW of capacity.

The budget for Pot 2 has been significantly increased from £35m in 2023, to £105m in 2024. This means that tidal stream could have access to more than the £10m ringfence.

The MEC has been calling for a £30m ringfence for tidal stream to accelerate deployment and support the technology moving down the cost reduction curve via economies of scale, volume, and accelerated learnings.

Sue Barr, Chair of the MEC, responded to today’s announcement:

“Maintaining a consistent route to market is critical in supporting investor confidence in the UK’s marine energy sector. Our ambition is to see UK content embedded in projects deployed here and around the world.

“The industry welcomes the Government’s continued support for the tidal stream sector. However, we are ready to go further and faster in realising the UK’s over 11GW of entirely predictable tidal stream energy resource. The industry is ready to deliver against a £30m ringfence.

“In addition, with significant progress being made in wave energy in Portugal and Ireland, the UK Government should engage with the sector to create a route to market for this abundant renewable energy resource.”

© UK Marine Energy Council (UKMEC)

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