THE Highlands and islands have more than their fair share of tidal-energy resources. Highlands and Islands Enterprise said the Pentland Firth strategic area alone hosted six of the top 10 tidal-energy sites in the UK.
Shetland and the waters around Argyll and the islands are also considered to have great potential for generating tidal energy. Firms granted seabed leases to develop tidal schemes are Scottish Power Renewables, SSE Renewables and Marine Current Turbines.
Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre has a six-berth tidal test site at the Fall of Warness, off the island of Eday. It has already seen devices in the water from London-based Atlantis Resources, Dublin-based OpenHydro, Bristol-based Tidal Generation and others. More are due in the water imminently.
According to Carbon Trust technology-acceleration manager Stephen Wyatt the cost of power generation for tidal is about 30p per kWh (kilowatt hour) with wave at 40p, compared with offshore wind at 15-18p.