Tidal stream energy (sometimes referred to as tidal current energy) is a way of harnessing renewable energy by capturing kinetic energy from fast-flowing water driven by tidal currents.
The global development of tidal stream energy to date has been limited by high technology costs, poor access to government subsidies, uncertainty over the technology’s environmental impacts and too few examples to build a track record of technology performance over sustained periods. As a result, the sector remains very much in its infancy.
However, the UK currently the global leader in tidal stream energy development. The country has both the greatest tidal stream generation capacity (both installed and under development) and the largest quantity of tidal stream technology developers.
This report assesses the potential contribution of tidal stream energy to sustainable growth in the UK, drawing on a review of the existing literature and new analysis of trade and patents data. This assessment is used to determine whether tidal stream energy constitutes a strategic priority for sustainable growth in the UK, and if so, what the immediate steps should be to maximise potential growth opportunities from the sector.