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British tidal energy gets EU support

Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Funding from the European Union for tidal energy projects off the British coast is a vote of confidence for low-carbon ambitions, a British official said.

The European Commission this week voted to back two tidal array projects with a combined $51.5 million in funding for Scottish Power Renewables and Marine Current Turbines.

British Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said EU funding for the tidal array projects would help position the country as a world leader in clean energy.

"This new investment is a fantastic opportunity for these projects to demonstrate the future potential of marine energy," Barker said in a statement.

Britain also announced it was placing a priority on building-mounted solar power projects and biomass developers. The government said prioritizing those industries could bring in as much as $973 million in green investments.

This month, the British government announced it was lifting a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale natural gas resources in light of new risk controls. Fracking operations were suspended last year following reports of minor tremors associated with natural gas operations in the country.

The British Geological Survey in a 2010 study said the shale gas reserve potential could be as large as 5.3 trillion cubic feet.

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