Catapult maps path for tidal cost cuts
Tidal stream energy could plummet below £80 per MWh by 2035 if the current opportunity is realised, a new industry-leading report has predicted.
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s ‘Cost Reduction Pathway of Tidal Stream Energy in the UK and France’ report presents a cost reduction trajectory taking tidal stream energy from its current price of £260 per MWh down to £78 per MWh by 2035.
The report found that drivers for tidal stream energy (TSE) cost reduction include scaling up the size and power of tidal devices, and development of larger TSE farms.
Moving to piled foundations and anchors for fixed bottom and floating devices respectively would also deliver cost savings. Longer term, the report estimates that an LCOE of £60 per MWh could be reached by 2042 and £50 per MWh by 2047.
The report also suggests that 877MW of TSE could be deployed in the UK by 2035, in agreement with the Marine Energy Council’s ask for the UK Government to commit to 1GW of marine energy deployment by 2035.
However, to capitalise on these opportunities, the report called on policymakers in the UK and France to support the TSE cost reduction trajectory by committing to industry deployment targets, ensure TSE has a secure route to market such as ring-fenced funding in the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference rounds, and streamline the consenting process to strengthen the project pipeline.