Tidal power cash boost could 'open up new chapter for Welsh coastal communities'

The £20M budget will be allocated across the UK

An annual £20 million investment in tidal power could "open up a new chapter for Wales' coastal communities".

The ring-fenced cash boost for Tidal Stream electricity will be shared across the UK, but it is hoped Wales will be at the forefront of the sector.

The funding announcement was made by the UK government today (November 24), with Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying "Wales is perfectly placed to capitalise on clean marine energy".

The Menter Mon Morlais project, based off the coast of Holy Island, has major potential to put Ynys Môn on the map in terms of tidal stream energy. Anglesey could also benefit from the tidal stream budget.

In 2018, The UK Government confirmed it would not back the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project. Credit: Tidal Lagoon Power

Mr Kwarteng said: “With 1,200km of coastline and excellent tidal resource, Wales is perfectly placed to capitalise on clean marine energy, building on our booming offshore wind sector which is now a British industrial success story.

“We hope to see marine energy follow in the successful footprints of other renewable technologies, where we’ve seen costs fall dramatically in recent years thanks to UK government support.

“The investment today provides a major push for Welsh tidal power to become a key part of the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to strengthen energy security as we work to reduce our dependency on volatile fossil fuels.”

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart welcomed the announcement.

He said: “Wales is ideally placed to be a major source of the clean and renewable energy of the future. Harnessing the power of our seas is a vital step in our transition to New Zero by 2050 and underlines the UK Government’s commitment to create and protect highly-skilled jobs while doing so.

“With strong wind and solar power industries in the UK it is the natural next step to explore our tidal energy capabilities.

"With this investment, Wales can continue to develop its potential as a leader in renewable technology and industry and contribute to the greener global economy of the future.”

Full details of the scheme will be announced on November 25, when the UK Government will outline plans to launch the biggest ever Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round - the scheme is the Government’s primary method of encouraging investment in low-carbon electricity.

Energy Minister Greg Hands, said: “Wales has a real opportunity to be at the forefront of a major emerging industry, with our renewable energy auction scheme playing a vital role in the UK becoming a world leader in clean electricity generation and helping to bring down prices for consumers.

“Today’s dedicated backing for tidal stream power is opening up a new chapter for Wales’s coastal communities and advancing the possibilities for the Welsh marine energy sector to play a significant role in delivering the UK’s green industrial revolution”.