Interreg France (Channel) England Programme – an EU programme set up to foster economic development around the Channel regions of the UK and France – has approved a new project that it says will be a “game-changer for the tidal stream energy sector”.
The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project – known as TIGER – is an ambitious €46.8m low carbon technology project, of which €28m comes from the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.
The total theoretical tidal energy capacity in the Channel region is estimated to be around 4GW – enough to power up to three million homes. Over the next three years, the TIGER project will see the installation of 8MW of new tidal capacity at sites in and around the Channel region – leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 11,000 tonnes per year and creating new economic investment in coastal communities.
Led by the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, TIGER comprises 19 partners from the UK and France spanning turbine developers, ocean energy demonstration sites, research organisations, and local and regional authorities. “This is a hugely ambitious project that will demonstrate the benefits of harnessing tidal energy on a large scale,” says Carolyn Reid, programme manager for Interreg France. “The long-term aim is to reduce generating costs of tidal stream energy from the existing 300€ MW/h to 150€ MW/h by 2025.
“TIGER is a shining example of how EU funding has enabled collaboration between organisations in the UK and France that might otherwise have never happened – and will have a massive impact on reducing the carbon footprint beyond the lifetime of the project.”
The TIGER program will start by helping to develop the Atlantis tidal project at Raz Blanchard, off the coast of Normandy, France – which will then sell its generated energy to the island of Alderney. “It's an honour to work with the world’s leading marine energy companies and academic institutions,” says Tim Cornelius, president of Atlantis Energy. “We are excited to be working on such a collaborative initiative which will set an example for how industries can unite behind a common cause to deliver decarbonisation, technology disruption and progress at scale. “The Channel region is now set to join Scotland as a world leader in marine energy project development at a time when governments around the world are finally seeing the value in cost effective solutions for non-visually intrusive, predictable, reliable and environmentally benign energy generation solutions. “This project will serve a dual purpose – it will help to decarbonise the island of Alderney and prepare regional and national governments for the development of large-scale tidal power arrays to harvest some of the 4GW of available energy waiting to be tapped.”