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Tidal Power

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential for the generation of electricity from tidal power off the south coast of England. (313409)

[holding answer 26 January 2010]: The Government commissioned the updating of the UK Marine Renewable Energy Resources Atlas

in 2007. The charts in the Atlas indicate the distribution of potential resource for the future deployment of renewable energy technologies—wind, wave and tidal. The Atlas represents the most detailed regional description of potential marine energy resources in UK waters completed to date at a national scale, and will be used to help guide policy and planning decisions for future site leasing rounds.

We also commissioned in 2009, a screening study for marine energy development in English and Welsh Waters and we will be considering the findings of the report before deciding on whether to progress with a strategic environmental assessment for English and Welsh waters.

Analysis of the data suggests there are pockets of potential for generating energy from tidal resource, in particular off the Isle of Wight and the Dorset coast, but these are at a level significantly lower than elsewhere in the UK. At present the South coast is not viewed by the commercial sector as a prime area for tidal resource but as technologies develop we may see devices which are well suited to the lower velocity of tidal flow available from the region.