UK releases new marine RE zones

The Crown Estate has agreed to grant seabed rights for six new wave and tidal demonstration zones, and five wave and tidal project sites around the UK coastline.

The UK seabed landlord says the six demonstration zones will for the first time enable locally-based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers.

Additionally the five new wave and tidal current sites will each have the potential to deliver a project of between 10MW and 30MW.

The locations for the six demonstration zones and five project sites include three off the coast of England, four off Scotland, three off Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

The Crown Estate says with the current leasing process for wave and tidal launched last October now complete, the next stage is for the demonstration zone managers to start attracting developers and to undertake further work.

This work could include such things as gathering environmental data that can help developers with the consenting process.

The Crown Estate also confirms its plans to run a leasing process for projects that capture tidal range energy in England and Wales. This will start later in summer 2014.

“By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy,” says Rob Hastings, director of energy and infrastructure at the Crown Estate.

“This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones, in order to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.”

Greg Barker, minister for energy and climate change, says:“Wave and tidal stream are growing green, clean energy sources which have the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth, from exports alone, a possible £4bn per annum by 2050.”