Atlantis Resources operates the first multi-turbine tidal power site in the world off the north coast of Scotland. Tides in the Pentland Firth can reach 5 metres per second and the six turbine park appears to be generating at least as much electricity as expected. This is an under-reported success.
Despite the attractions of tidal power, including its predictability, the UK has been slow to capitalise on this source. France and Japan look more attractive markets for Atlantis. The tides may not be quite as fast-moving but the governments are showing far more interest than in the UK.
Atlantis says that the best French sites will have electricity costs below the cheapest offshore wind sites currently under construction in the UK, which probably equates to about £60 per megawatt hour. It claims that 2 GW of capacity could be developed by 2027 in French waters, including at its first target size off Normandy.
As with other innovations in the past, a technology pioneered in the UK will shift to full scale development elsewhere.