Despite claims that Scotland has the potential to be a world leader in tidal energy, and with increased aims to reduce carbon emissions by 2020, we believe the contribution by tidal energy at present to Scotlands grid will be much less than currently envisaged.

From our analysis it was found that the tidal resource around the coast of Scotland is highly constrained by a combination of technical and policy constraints. This study also found that each of the constraints varied in terms of area of impact and level of impact. With increasing investment and demand for renewable energy, many of the policy constraint identified in this project may be overcome through incentives and compromises, therefore allowing more of Scotland's tidal resource to become accessible

In addition to this, the tidal industry as a whole remains relatively immature and requires increased research and investment to overcome the many challenges that still lie ahead. The technical constraints idenfied in this project raise engineering challenges that must be overcome to ensure tidal energy fully develops into a mainstream industry. . Alternative design, installation and maintenance techniques must be researched to allow devices to be deployed at greater number of sites.

Despite the current limitations in accessing the full potential of Scotlands tidal resource, this project has shown that by phasing different tidal sites the guaranteed power output can be significantly increased. From our detailed phasing analysis of a number of sites around the coast of Scotland, it is clear that the predictability of tidal power can be used to increase the baseload power. Phasing gives tidal power the potential to replace a proportion of conventional means of generation.

Finally it is clear that tidal energy requires increased research and investment to develop the industry and ensure that it becomes viable in the future. A combination of research and policy changes should be undertaken in order to encourage future investment in the tidal energy industry.