Dod101 wrote:Very interesting. I know nothing about all of this but am pleased to learn. When SSE spoke to us (a group of investors) it was some years ago and certainly the opinion is as you say out of date by now. What I was trying to suggest was that when wind turbines were introduced (and certainly those at sea) they were very expensive and needed large subsidies to make them work and maybe tidal power is at that stage as well.
I see what you are saying so maybe there is just not a big enough opportunity to use tidal power. Thanks anyway because I like to know about these things.
AIUI that's the theory behind subsidies for emerging technologies. Give them a helping hand through an R&D phase to bring them to a stage where they can bring costs down and become competitive with established technologies.
Some governments are willing to do that, others will only do it as a political bribe (as in the huge subsidies paid to homeowners who put up solar panels). Wind and solar got a helping hand from those who were prepared to help - for example wind just across the North Sea in Denmark.
Tidal energy should in principle be our best source here in the UK, and a worthwhile source in quite a few other places. What it hasn't had is supportive governments to help it through the uneconomic early phase SSE were facing at the time you recollect. The Swansea Tidal project was strongly recommended by more-or-less everyone including the Hendry review commissioned by government, and even featured in Cameron's election manifesto, but was vetoed by the Daily Telegraph.
The Scottish government has been rather more supportive of projects there, and some are indeed happening - albeit on a small scale.
 Except (from memory) Neath MP Peter Hain, whose opposition was because he didn't want it distracting from his support for the Severn Barrage.