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Renewable Energy Tidal power included in The Thames Hub plan

The Thames Hub is a bold new approach to future infrastructure development in Britain. It brings together rail, freight logistics, aviation, energy and its transmission, flood protection and regional development. It is unique for its scale and strategic cross- sector thinking. Recognising the synergies between these different strands, it reaps the benefits of their integration. It is an opportunity to reassert Britain’s role as an international gateway for people, freight and communications.

power – the integration of hydropower generators with the new flood barrier and an installation of hydropower arrays in the water. Together, these would provide a major new source of clean energy for the South East, while satisfying the demands of the Estuary Airport.

The proposal is for a hydropower array in the Estuary, 5 kilometres long and 500 metres wide, to harness tidal flows effectively. The tidal generation units can sit either on the estuary bed or on floating pontoons.

Their proposed

‘Hydropower in the Thames Estuary could provide electricity for up to 76,000 households’

‘Hydropower in Estuary provides 100% of power demands of new airport’

‘Zero carbon emissions from hydropower’

Halcrow and Foster & Partners have launched their Thames Hub vision. It is An air/rail/road/sea transportation hub in the Thames Estuary, which presents an opportunity to deliver lasting social, environmental and economic benefits.

The Estuary Airport will be energy self- sufficient, using tidal power generators. At an estimated cost of £50bn, Thames hub plans also include a new barrier crossing that extends flood protection to London and the Thames Gateway and also harnesses tidal power to generate a source of carbon- free renewable energy

By focusing on the water instead of the land, the Thames Estuary offers two opportunities to generate renewable

£103m funding for Wave & Tidal Renewable energy

The UK and Scottish governments have reached an agreement on accessing funds from the Fossil Fuel Levy, a tax paid by suppliers of non-renewable energy sources. It currently holds about £200m.

Under the new deal, £103m will go towards Scottish renewable energy projects, including wave and tidal schemes.

The remaining £100m will be made available to support the capitalisation of the £3bn UK-wide Green Investment Bank.

Mr Osborne said the UK government was committed to creating jobs across Scotland - particularly in the green energy sector.

He said: "It's great news that we have been able to cut through the arguments and the wrangling with the


Scottish government that have stopped this money being invested in the past.

"It shows how serious the UK government is in its support for Scotland's green future."

The Scottish government has been calling for money to be released from the Fossil Fuel Levy, which is held by Ofgem, so investments can be made in onshore and marine renewable projects.

Mr Swinney said: "For too long Scotland's money has been sitting unspent in an Ofgem account in London. Scotland has the natural renewables resources to become the green energy powerhouse of Europe using all forms of renewables including hydro, wave, tidal, onshore and offshore wind."

Marine energy opportunities highlighted in new report

The paper - jointly published by the Governments of the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands - calls on the European Commission to fully recognise the potential to meet the EU’s climate change and energy security objectives, and to give its backing to the sector with financial support under the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan.

The UK Minister of State for Energy Charles Hendry said:

“There is an abundant energy resource in European waters and there is a clear appetite from individual states to make the most of it.

“Here in the UK we have set out ambitious plans to be a world leader in marine energy and get projects off the drawing board and into the water. And more international cooperation can help bring marine energy forward faster, develop supply chains, and support jobs.”

The European Union has been urged to give its full backing to Scotland’s efforts to develop marine renewables by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

The Ocean Energy paper follows publication of the ISLES study which sets out how to build an offshore electricity grid to connect the vast offshore renewable energy potential of Scotland and Ireland to the wider European market.

The European Commission has recently declared a

‘Northern Seas Offshore Grid’ as one of its 12 priority energy infrastructure projects, and the ISLES study makes a major contribution to realising this.

Along with the UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry and Irish Energy Minister Pat Rabbite, Mr Ewing presented the ISLES study and Ocean Energy paper to the European Energy Commissioner, Gunther Oettinger.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“Scotland’s potential is unrivalled - we enjoy Europe’s largest tidal energy resource and ten per cent of its wave energy potential. Our European Marine Energy Centre has been an outstanding success, with testing facilities fully occupied and there are plans for 1.6 Gigawatts of commercial wave and tidal arrays around Scotland. “We have put in place an £18 million fund to improve wave and tidal capability and infrastructure and help fund the roll-out of marine arrays, while our £10 million Saltire Prize is driving innovation in new marine energy technologies.

“We now need the European Commission to give marine energy its complete financial backing, under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, to enable Scotland’s vast ocean energy resources to connect to the mainland European market and help the Commission achieve its energy infrastructure priority of a Northern Seas Offshore Grid.”

location is north of the Estuary Airport and to the south of the Yantlet shipping channel, the main container freight route to Tilbury Docks and the new London Gateway port.

The array responds to current demands in the South East as well as

For information please contact: Garry A Whitaker Halcrow Group Limited

+44 (0)1793 812 479 D +44 (0)1793 816 253 E

projected development enabled by a new flood barrier. Depending on the type of generation units used, there is the potential to generate up to 525GWh/year of energy – enough to power some 76,000 homes. Over a yearly cycle, the energy produced would be enough to supply the Estuary Airport, where demand is estimated as 400-600 GWh/year, allowing excess power to be fed back into National Grid. Significantly, hydropower has zero carbon emissions.

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