Tidal Energy Can Provide 20 Pct of Total UK Electricity Needs
The Royal Society published a report on tidal energy in the UK saying that this source is more consistent than wind and that it could produce over 20% of the country’s power needs.
The report shows confidence that tidal energy can be harnessed in the near future using both the tidal barrages and underwater turbines.
Barrages can provide 15% of the UK’s power demand, while the other 5% comes from tidal turbines that are expected to contribute even more with future technological development, Dr Nicholas Yates from the National Oceanography Centre, who is the co-author of the report, is cited by the BBC as saying.
Regarding the best method, Dr Yates says that it is better to start with underwater turbines, which are placed in areas with fast flowing tidal streams, rather than with constructing barrages across tidal estuaries.
According to the authors of the report, tidal stream technology could step forward this year and prove its reliability, which co-author Professor AbuBakr Bahaj from the University of Southampton considers to be higher than with wind energy, the BBC writes.
However, development of tidal energy industry can be affected in the financial aspect, Professor Bahaj says. The subsidies of GBP 40 per 1 MWh of energy generated from renewables will end in 2017, which would impact the investment in tidal technology.
Offshore WIND Staff, January 14, 2013; Image: bigpartnership