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Largest investment into Welsh tidal power announced

The UK Government will invest £20m per year across the UK in Tidal Stream electricity as part of its flagship renewable energy auction scheme, kickstarting a brand-new chapter for Wales’s tidal industry and creating jobs across Welsh coastal regions.

Today’s announcement will unlock the potential for a thriving Welsh tidal power sector, with the cash boost supporting marine technologies which could benefit the whole of the Wales and the rest of the UK.

As part of the fourth allocation round of the Contracts for Difference Scheme due to open next month, the UK Government will ensure that £20m per year will be ringfenced for Tidal Stream projects, giving Wales’s marine energy sector a chance to develop their technology and lower their costs in a similar way to its world-leading offshore wind industry. This will bring the total funding for this allocation round to £285million per year UK-wide.

Wales already has excellent tidal stream resources and is well positioned to play a global leading role in marine energy. The Menter Mon Morlais project, based off the coast of Holy Island, has major potential to put Ynys Môn on the map in terms of tidal stream energy. Anglesey could benefit from a ringfenced tidal stream budget, along with the high skilled employment opportunities this project could bring to the region.

Over time Wales’s marine technologies have the potential to significantly contribute to the UK’s decarbonisation commitments and will support hundreds of green jobs across the country, with projects currently in development in North-West Scotland, North Wales and the Southern coast of England.

Tidal energy has the potential to be a very reliable source of generation, given the clockwork predictability of the tides. Including this in Wales’s low-carbon energy mix will make it easier to match supply with demand, building on the UK Government’s commitment to build a strong, home-grown renewable energy sector to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “Wales is ideally placed to be a major source of the clean and renewable energy of the future. Harnessing the power of our seas is a vital step in our transition to Net Zero by 2050 and underlines the UK Government’s commitment to create and protect highly-skilled jobs while doing so. With strong wind and solar power industries in the UK it is the natural next step to explore our tidal energy capabilities. With this investment, Wales can continue to develop its potential as a leader in renewable technology and industry and contribute to the greener global economy of the future.”