Hydropower

Tidal energy project approved for English Channel regions

Interreg France (Channel) England Programme has approved the biggest ever Interreg project that will prove to be game-changing for the European tidal stream energy sector.

The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project, known as TIGER, is an ambitious €46.8m project, of which €28m (69%) comes from the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.

TIGER falls within the funding category for low carbon technologies of the Programme, whose Managing Authority is Norfolk County Council and which co-funds collaborative projects between organisations in the south of the UK and north of France.

The project aims to drive the growth of tidal stream energy by installing up to 8 MW of new tidal capacity at sites in and around the Channel region thus driving innovation and the development of new products and services.

Essentially, turbines submerged off the coast will harness the energy of tidal currents that will be converted into electricity.

TIGER will make a stronger, more cost-effective case for tidal stream to become part of the energy mix in the UK and France by harnessing economies of scale via volume manufacturing and multi-device deployments. Coastal communities used as ports of deployment will benefit from knock-on investment and job creation.

The total theoretical tidal energy capacity in the Channel region is nearly 4 GW, enough to power up to three million homes. Proving that tidal energy generation can be cost-effective on a large scale could open the door for it to become the renewable energy of choice in coastal locations with strong tidal currents globally, helping the growth of clean, green energy generation and tackling the climate emergency.

Led by the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, from its office in Hayle, Cornwall, TIGER comprises 19 partners from across the UK and France spanning turbine developers, ocean energy demonstration sites, research organisations, as well local and regional authorities.

The project is the largest ever to be approved not only by the France (Channel) England Programme but by any Interreg programme. There are 75 EU-funded Interreg programmes in the current programming period 2014-2020.