A website to look at the technologies, economics and politics of tidal energy

The UK's first fully operational tidal electric generation scheme in Strangford Lough


Tidal Power - The Obvious Solution

Tidal stream generators draw energy from currents in much the same way as wind turbines. The higher density of water, 832 times the density of air, means that a single generator can provide significant power at low tidal flow velocities.

Given that power varies with the density of medium and the cube of velocity, it is simple to see that water speeds of just one-tenth of the speed of wind provide the same power for the same size of turbine system. This means sites can be considered where the tide moves at speeds of at least 2 knots (1m/s) even at neap tides. There are suitable sites in hundreds of locations round the UK coastline.

The environment a few metres below the surface of the sea is predictable - tide flow and direction can be determined for every hour of every day. Power output can be accurately predicted on a day by day, month by month, year by year basis. Unlike wind generation, there are no unpredictable gaps in generation which have to be filled by alternative sources.

Why then are we spending a fortune subsidising wind generation firms to build windfarms all over our landscape when there is an apparently a much more suitable alternative? Are the existing technologies adequate, and if not why isn't there more money available for development?

Energy Planet Renewable Energy Directory

This site exists to look at the current technologies, the players, the projects and the politics. We belive that tidal power has the single biggest potential for enabling this country to meet its 2020 and 2050 emissions targets, and urge the government to divert some of the huge sums it is currently spending on windpower into research and development of tidal power technologies.

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