RenewableUK has covered wave and tidal stream energy since 2004 and will now take on an additional form of tidal power.1
The expansion into a new category was announced at RenewableUK Cymru’s annual conference in Cardiff. “We’re delighted to increase the range of marine technologies that RenewableUK represents by wholeheartedly embracing tidal lagoon energy," said Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive.
The Planning Inspectorate announced in March that it has accepted for consideration an application by Tidal Lagoon Power, a new RenewableUK member, to build the first project in the world of this type in Swansea Bay. (Tidal Lagoon Power became a member after extensive discussions about RenewableUK extending its remit to cover this technology.) The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project has the potential to power 155,000 UK homes, saving 236,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. Construction is due to begin in 2015, with first power to be generated in 2018.
"This is an exciting time for the dynamic marine energy sector, as Tidal Lagoon Power is set to achieve a global first in Swansea Bay," McCaffery added. "We are confident that this ground-breaking scheme will point the way for others to follow around the world, so we’re proud to support the deployment of this innovative form of renewable energy."
The expansion comes as great news for Wales, too, McCaffery noted, "as it keeps the nation at the forefront of the renewable energy sector, creating more jobs and attracting further investment”.
- Tidal lagoon technology traps water at high tide in vast, specially constructed pools and releases it through turbines to generate low-carbon electricity. Water also passes through turbines as the tide comes in, generating more electricity in the process. Advocates say tidal power is an extremely predictable form of renewable energy generation.