European tidal stream projects generated 50 % more electricity in 2019 compared with 2018, according to statistics released by Ocean Energy Europe (OEE).
The Brussels-based organisation says that European tidal stream capacity reached 27.7 MW in 2019 – almost four times as much as the rest of the world. The growth was achieved in spite of a slowdown in deployments as developers prepare for larger projects to hit the water in the next few years.
Outside of Europe, the first of several European-led projects in Canada reached financial close, thanks to a dedicated Feed-In Tariff for tidal energy, OEE said.
Electricity produced by tidal energy reached 49 GWh at the end of 2019 – a rise of 15 GWh over 2018 and proof that the technology can work over a long period of time in aggressive waters. “With improving efficiency and falling costs, tidal energy is all set to become a mainstream power source,” OEE said in a statement.
In the wave energy sector, installed capacity in Europe grew by 25 per cent, continuing the sector’s steady growth over the past decade. Several projects hit the water along the Atlantic and North Sea coasts, taking Europe’s cumulative installations to 11.8 MW.
Although Europe remains at the forefront of wave energy in terms of cumulative capacity and technological excellence, the gap is narrowing. Annual installations in other parts of the world have, for the second year running, overtaken Europe. The USA and China are beginning to reap the rewards of sustained investments in RD&I, with combined installations of 1.8 MW in 2019.