A €45.4m Anglo-French “TIGER” project which aims to accelerate the tidal stream energy industry in the Channel region has worked with leading tidal stream energy developers from France and the UK to uncover supply chain and innovation opportunities that span a range of disciplines and provide a valuable repository of information, opportunities and contacts into a rapidly growing market. Ocean Energy Europe’s ‘2030 Ocean Energy Vision’1 predicts up to 2.4GW of Tidal stream energy capacity installed by 2030 and becoming cost competitive with fossil fuels.
In its first year the Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project, known as TIGER, https://interregtiger.com/ has provided valuable insight into the sector by bringing together world leading tidal stream developers and producing a series of six webinars with the specific purpose of exposing new, out of sector thinking to supply chain and innovation opportunities. Developers explain and are questioned by webinar attendees as to what their current challenges are, where opportunities lie and how best to access them both within their own companies but also looking at wider market opportunities.
Contents from all six themed events have now been summarised and can be accessed at the TIGER project website. The topics specific to tidal stream covered include: ‘Subsea cables and connectors’, ‘scale up for volume manufacture’, ‘composites and sensors’, ‘anti-fouling & ‘anti-corrosion requirements’, ‘Reliability & condition monitoring’ and ‘onshore and offshore mobilisation & logistics’.
Tidal stream energy generates electricity from tidal currents using structures resembling underwater wind turbines, unlike tidal range energy projects, which use dams or barrages to impound water and then control its release through turbines. The tidal stream energy industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK by 2030 of £1.4 bn, including the creation of 4,000 high quality jobs2 in maritime and peripheral regions, whilst assisting in green recovery and UK ambitions to reach net zero by 2050. The UK is the clear global leader in marine energy and, with the right support, will lead a global export market estimated to be worth £76 bn by 2050.
The TIGER consortium was assembled and is being project managed by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, which has a regional office in Hayle, Cornwall. Simon Cheeseman, Sector Lead for Wave & Tidal Energy at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult said “People often assume that Tidal Stream Energy requires the same solutions as offshore wind: this is very far from the truth. A wide range of new engineering and service solutions are required for an industry that could soon form the energy solution of choice for many coastal areas around the world”.
The overall objectives of the TIGER project are to provide evidence that tidal stream energy can take the first steps along the cost reduction curve; to develop a UK/France supply chain, and to work with it to identify critical areas where cost reductions are necessary.
In 2021 project TIGER plans to hold “Meet the Buyer” events and more supply chain activity. To find out more about the project, or to reach out and engage any of the TIGER partners, visit https://interregtiger.com/about-tiger/ where you can also sign up for project updates.
For more information on Offshore Renewables in the South West visit the Maritime UK SW webpage