Today marks the day that the Pentland Firth is being opened up by the Crown Estate to developers seeking to build marine renewable schemes in the area. Up to 700 megawatts of power is expected to be created by the area by 2020.
The Pentland Firth is the stretch of water off the north east tip of mainland Britain where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea collide between the mainland and Orkney. It is the greatest potential for harnessing of wave energy but other main potentials exist at the ends of the Irish Sea, the Bristol Channel and English Channel. The last of course is least likely to be exploited imminently due the pressures of this as a shipping lane.
The move to harness the UK's maritime currents though overdue is welcome as we seek to get a sustainable, sustained alternative to fossil fuels generating our power needs through a balanced portfolio of renewable sources. Tidal power is more reliable than wind generation and adds to the ability to sustain renewable capability. While it is liable to be the big projects that first garner attention in the Pentland Firth this development of technology will hopefully lead to more micro marine projects as efficiency is increased.