Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tidal Power

My New Scientist Magazine did not arrive on Friday. What to do for bedtime reading I thought? Perhaps an old copy? Well I did find an old copy under the bed, and it had some interesting stuff in it about tidal energy.

Recently there has been talk of the Severn Estuary project being looked at again. Part of the problem with this could be environmental.
The bit in the New Scientist talked about the strong tides around the Orkney Islands, which has led the European Union-funded European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to use Orkneys' waters as the world's largest test bed for a renewable energy source. The new turbine designs being tested here appear to be surviving the Scottish swells, and should be capable of taming one of the world's most promising sources of renewable energy. If we can use this technology to harness the powerhouses of Ocean currents, tidal power could help smash all previous predictions of how much energy the oceans can provide.The power can be environmentally friendly as well.

Neil Kermode, who manages EMEC says tidal turbines have taken the lead in the race to develop marine energy sources, surging past both barrages and wave power.
Back in May, an article in the IET E&T magazine recons that the growing marine sector in the UK could boost the economy by up to £76bn by 2050 and also generate over 68,000 jobs, if the country builds on its existing lead and successfully develops and deploys its technology.

As well as tidal power looking good, wave power is also on the agenda. Anaconda says that wave energy is a particularly rich yet untapped energy resource which government studies state could produce 3%-5% of our electricity initially and up to 20% eventually. more in the August edition of NS.

The Crown Estate owns the majority of the seabed within a 12 nautical mile limit of UK territorial waters.
The estate has already made available areas for the development of offshore tidal power projects.
The Crown Estate, which manages the monarch's property holdings, already has properties that generate 1.55 gigawatts of offshore wind projects in Wales, Scotland and England.
It has recently launched offshore wind and tidal stream leasing rounds to select developers to take forward up to 800MW of projects in Northern Ireland waters.


  1. Tidal lagoons are the way forward. Less environmental damage than a barrage, and more ability to generate power throughout the day and match output to what is required, which is not usually a feature of renewable energy. Lower peak output but more consistent output also has a knock on effect on lowering the costs of building the transmission network, which has to be sized for the peak output.

  2. Tides are really a very effective way for generating power. This is the least used power generating method for production of renewable energy. If this method is used in a proper manner then it can become the prime source for generating energy.