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UK to Benefit from Tidal Power Schemes

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Will Davis, Recruitment Consultant at Fircroft’s Head Office in Warrington, recruits for roles in the power and energy sectors. Here he discusses the future of tidal power in the UK.
The use of tidal power is set to become more widespread in the UK, with the government backing a series of plans to develop ‘tidal lagoons’. It is hoped that this will act as a cleaner energy solution to powering many homes across the country. In Wales, there is already a scheme underway to create a lagoon in Swansea Bay, which could provide energy to 155,000 homes. The company behind this project, Tidal Lagoon Power, claims it to be the world’s first man-made, energy-generating lagoon. The Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay website describes the project as “a harbour type structure closing off a tidal sea area, and incorporating hydro turbines through which the sea moves to generate electricity.”
With a contract available worth £300 million, developers are evidently serious about contributing to the renewable energy field. The government itself has set a target for the UK to devise 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – that figure currently stands at 5%. The project is seen as particularly good news for the engineering industry, as Tidal Power Lagoon has pledged that 65% of capital expenditure on the scheme is in Britain. As a result, this means the UK’s engineering sector could see a boost of almost £200 million.
Its other benefits include: 

  • Reducing CO2 by 236,000 tonnes every year.
  • The UK could become the world-leader in tidal energy.
  • Connecting and provide energy to the National Grid by 2018.
  • Job creation across the region.
  • A guarantee of 14 hours of energy generation per day.
Overall, the lagoon will cost an estimated £1 billion and will consist of a causeway enclosing a lagoon in Swansea Bay that spans six miles. There will be approximately 16 underwater turbines that will then use the tide to generate power.
Other Projects in the Pipeline

The Swansea Bay lagoon isn’t the only such scheme in the works, however, as Tidal Power Lagoon is considering launching similar plans off the Cardiff coast. This time, a 14-mile seawall would be built at the cost of £6 billion. If successful, this particular piece of infrastructure could power every home in Wales. Further development plans to create another four lagoons in Newport, West Cumbria, Colwyn Bay and Bridgewater Bay, could generate energy for 8% of the UK for the next 120 years.

Tidal Power Energy is still in negotiations with government ministers over subsidy arrangements, which could come from levies on consumer energy bills. A decision on potential planning approval will be made on the Swansea Bay project before June, with the hope of having it up and running by 2019. It is expected to create around 2,000 jobs, with the other five lagoon schemes set to create thousands more throughout Wales.

If you’re currently looking for a new role in power and energy in the UK, check out Fircroft’s job listings here. We have a wide range of jobs available in various sectors, whether you’re looking for contract or permanent opportunities.

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