The Times from Henry Dixon as Chairman of the Tidal Range Alliance
In today’s edition, Emily Gosden asked the “£20Bn question – will we go for the nuclear option?”
The alarming news from both Greenland and the Antarctic underlines how essential is it to meet, or exceed, our net-zero emissions goal and help reduce the threat of Climate Change, including sea level rises, to future generations. The challenge as noted in the article is to ensure that reliable ‘firm power’, such as nuclear, is on tap to support the Grid when intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar fail to deliver.
For firm power, we need look no further than our coast. The UK is blessed with some of the world’s best tidal range resources. Tidal range projects, with barrages and impoundments proposed along much of the UK’s west coast, will deliver totally reliable, industrial scale low-carbon power generation and help maintain grid security and stability and protect coastal communities from storm surges and rising sea levels and provide thousands of jobs in places where employment is hard to find.
With an operating life of over 120 years, at least double that of a nuclear plant and three to four times the life of wind and solar farms, and many whole-system benefits, tidal range energy generation is cost competitive and should have a significant role to play in the UK’s Green Recovery.
We’re glad the Government recently issued a Call for Evidence on Marine Energy and are swotting up on all aspects of the challenges facing the UK before answering the question.