Although tidal stream power has the potential to compete with other low-carbon renewables, the sector must rethink priorities to be cost competitive, according to the Energy Technologies Institute.
A recent ETI statement notes that wave energy has already proven itself to be technically feasible through a number of small installations, but also that its costs are currently up to 10 times higher than other low-carbon alternatives.
Chief amongst ETI’s recommendations for tidal energy growth are the adoption of Contracts for Difference between buyers and sellers, as well as recognition of the 400-MW MeyGen project as a standard-bearer for the sector.
“The U.K. has some of the world’s best tidal and wave resources, and we do lead the world in tidal and wave device development,” ETI strategy manager Stuart Bradley said. “But it remains an industry in relevant infancy.
“Policy makers need to review the evidence base and decide the exact contribution of marine energy to a future low-carbon energy industry so the industry can move ahead, improve cost performance and contribute positively.”
Per ETI, wave energy developers need to “reconsider their approaches to extraction and conversion to find ways that will drastically reduce costs,” while also finding a more efficient way to transfer energy generated at-sea to the grid.
For more marine hydrokinetic news, visit here.