January 16 (SeeNews) - The UK should focus on exploiting the tidal stream technology commercially as other marine renewables are less developed and so more expensive, according to the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
ETI, a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering firms and the UK government, said today that tidal lagoons lie in between tidal stream and wave energy in terms of the stage of development and require large levels of investment to demonstrate and then deploy at scale.
The announcement comes after the much-awaited Hendry review said that tidal lagoons can play a cost-effective role in the UK's energy mix.
According to ETI, tidal stream has the potential to compete with other low carbon energy sources over the coming decades.
"The value of tidal stream energy from an energy systems view is that it is reliable and predictable and it also has the benefit of having a low visual impact and creates economic value in specific locations. The challenge comes from the distribution of the energy generated. Because many of the most powerful tidal sites are at remote locations the source is often a long way from the end consumer," ETI says.
ETI further said that a successful agreement on a contract for difference (CfD) for tidal energy will be crucial for marine renewables to succeed. It is of pivotal importance that the 398-MW MeyGen project, which is being developed by Atlantis Resources Ltd (LON:ARL), is a success. ETI has invested in a project that will see two Atlantis-owned 1.5-MW tidal energy turbines installed on an innovative foundation structure designed and built as part of the project.