ocean energy

Ecotricity to launch rival UK tidal lagoon energy bid

UK green energy company Ecotricity has welcomed the government’s tidal energy review announcing that it will compete to build the first tidal lagoon energy site in Britain.
Ecotricity to launch rival UK tidal lagoon energy bid

The company will release details of its plans later this year. It believes it can build tidal lagoon energy sites in Britain for almost half the price currently proposed for Swansea Bay.

Ecotricity has also recently written to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) urging the government to take its time and look more closely at the cost of tidal energy. It believes the government is right to announce a review to ensure value for money from the fledgling industry.

“The Government has been agonising for a while about what level of support to give to the first tidal project in Britain” said Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. “They’re clearly interested in the technology, which is a good thing, but they’ve been put off by the price tag of £168/MWh proposed by Swansea Bay – that’s understandable. We welcome the review, because we’re confident that tidal power projects can be built around Britain at much closer to £90/MWh - that’s the same price the Government are paying to support nuclear energy, but without the risks or clean-up costs.”

Mr Vince added that Ecotricity has been concerned that the government could be pushed into paying too high a price for tidal energy through the Swansea Bay scheme. This would be bad for renewable energy generally because it would reinforce the myth that green energy is expensive. It would also be bad for tidal power specifically because it may never get off the ground. Ecotricity hopes that the review will lead to the government supporting tidal energy in Britain but doing it in a way that will enable competition and value for money.

The government review of tidal energy in Britain will commence in the spring, in collaboration with DECC and HM Treasury.

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