The Welsh Government’s £750,000 Tidal Lagoon Challenge has received 10 applications from more than 20 organisations.
Launched by First Minister Mark Drakeford at the Marine Energy Wales conference earlier this year, the grant fund was set up to directly support research, as part of the government’s commitment to make Wales a world centre for emerging tidal technologies.
The money will be made available for at least 3 research projects focusing on the deployment of tidal lagoon technology.
The funded research will help address the barriers that have so far prevented the development of the technology and give more insight into the benefits it could bring to Wales.
The Welsh Government has confirmed 10 applications have been received from 22 organisations. The strong collaboration demonstrated by the applicants, including between academia and the industry, speaks to the innovation in Wales.
A tidal lagoon is a power station that generates electricity from the natural rise and fall of the tides – a large volume of water is captured behind a man-made structure, which is then released to drive turbines and generate electricity.
The Welsh Government said the work of the tidal lagoon challenge will enable the application of research excellence to the sector and support the growth of a knowledge base that will smooth the path to future tidal lagoon delivery in Wales.
Applications closed on September 18th, and those received are now under review. The successful applicants will be asked to take part in stage 2 of the process in October, with winners expected to be announced in Spring 2024.
Wales is home to the second largest tidal range in the world.
Tom Hill, Marine Energy Wales Programme Manager said, “As supporters of this initiative, we are delighted to hear that so many innovative applications have been received as part of this process.
This opportuntiy to fund vital learning and research puts us one step closer to enabling a first-of-its-kind tidal lagoon here in Wales.
We wish all applicants the best of luck for the next part of the process and are excited to see the winners revealed early next year.”