Scottish tidal project receives €20.3m EU funding boost
The EU has awarded tidal power company Atlantis €20.3m in Horizon 2020 grant funding for its DEMOTIDE project, which will design, build and operate a 6MW turbine array, MeyGen Phase 1B, in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth in northern Scotland.
MeyGen Phase 1B, also known as Project Stroma, will commence construction in 2017 and first power is expected in 2018. It will be built adjacent to the existing 6MW MeyGen Phase 1A project, which delivered first power to the grid in November last year. Together, Phases 1A and 1B complete the foundation for full scale build out at the site, which has an awarded seabed lease for almost 400MW of installed capacity.
The DEMOTIDE consortium consists of:
- Leading technology supplier Marine Current Turbines (an Atlantis company), which is based in the UK;
- DEME, comprising DEME Blue Energy and GeoSea, a world leader in marine operations and owner of a versatile fleet of construction vessels based in Belgium;
- INNOSEA, an independent engineering firm based in France which provides technical expertise and multidisciplinary engineering services to the marine renewable energy industry; and
- Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, who have been at the forefront of marine renewable energy research for over 30 years.
The DEMOTIDE project will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of drilled foundation systems and larger rotor diameter turbines, further de-risking the industry and providing a robust path to significant cost reduction in the European tidal power sector.
Atlantis CEO, Tim Cornelius, said: “The DEMOTIDE project is the next significant step in delivering cost effective, reliable tidal stream generation for Europe. MeyGen is the world’s most high profile tidal stream project and we are delighted to be working with the European Commission and this world leading consortium of marine renewable energy experts to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of tidal power knowledge creation. This project will help the tidal stream industry demonstrate reductions in the price per unit of electricity by increasing the energy yield per pound of investment. DEMOTIDE will set tidal on a path to cost parity with offshore wind by 2020.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.