Tidal Energy

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Tide Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air

c. 250GW raw energy
"If we imagine extracting 10% of this incident energy, and if the conversion and transmission processes are 50% efficient, the average power delivered would be 5 kWh per day per person."

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Tidal developments power forward Gail Rajgor; Renewable Energy Focus; 17 Mar 2016

If it can be made to work at scale and cost-effectively the predictability of tidal power gives it a significant advantage over wind and solar PV technologies. Gail Rajgor takes a look at the latest project developments in the sector.

Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station Wikipedia

South Korea, 254MW

Rance Tidal Power Station Wikipedia

Brittany, peak output at 240 megawatts and average 57 megawatts, a capacity factor of approximately 24%.
The power density is of the order of 2.6 W / m². The cost of electricity production is estimated at 12 eurocents of kWh.

Bay of Fundy to get tidal power turbine next month The Star; 19 May 2016

“Our project aims to deploy two two-megawatt hydro devices at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) site, just west of Parrsboro, and we’re aiming to put both of those turbines in the water this year”. The turbine ... is 16-metres in diameter and weighs 1,000 tonnes

The Tide Is Turning for a New Source of Green Energy Taylor Hill; Take Part; 1 Sep 2016

... two 100-kilowatt turbines have been installed in the turbulent tidal stream of Bluemull Sound off the Shetland Islands—an archipelago about 120 miles north of mainland United Kingdom, where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Nova is planning to construct five turbines in the region, providing power to residents and businesses on the Shetland Islands.
0.5 megawatts expected to come online from the underwater turbines
$3.9 million Shetland tidal project

Tidal Lagoons

Hendry Review - Independent Review of Tidal Lagoons Charles Hendry; 12 Jan 2017

“I was appointed in May 2016 to assess the strategic case for tidal lagoons, and the role they could play in the UK’s energy mix.
“I believe that the evidence is clear that tidal lagoons can play a cost effective role in the UK’s energy mix and there is considerable value in a small (less than 500 MW) pathfinder project. I conclude that tidal lagoons would help deliver security of supply; they would assist in delivering our decarbonisation commitments; and they would bring real and substantial opportunities for the UK supply chain.
“Most importantly, it is clear that tidal lagoons at scale could deliver low carbon power in a way that is very competitive with other low carbon sources.
“The aim now is that we should move to secure the pathfinder project as swiftly as possible, so the learning opportunities it offers can be maximised. I have, however, also concluded that the smaller pathfinder project needs to be operational before we move to larger scale projects. This means that a clear long-term Government strategy in favour of tidal lagoons will be required if the full supply chain and cost reduction opportunities are to be realised.
“Tidal lagoons can be an important and exciting new industry for the United Kingdom. We are blessed with some of the best resources in the world, which puts us in a unique position to be world leaders.
“The costs of a pathfinder project would be about 30p per household per year over the first 30 years. A large scale project would be less than 50p over the first 60 years. The benefits of that investment could be huge, especially in South Wales, but also in many other parts of the country. Having looked at all the evidence, spoken to many of the key players, on both sides of this debate, it is my view that we should seize the opportunity to move this technology forward now.”
The report makes over 30 recommendations for delivering a tidal lagoon auditory bringing maximum benefit to the UK, including:
  • An allocation by a competitive tender process for large scale tidal lagoons;
  • Informing the consenting process with a National Policy Statement for tidal lagoons similar to Nuclear new build, where specific sites are designated by the Government as being suitable for development;
  • The establishment of a new body (Tidal Power Authority) at arms-length from Government with the goal to maximise UK advantage from a tidal lagoon programme.
In the course of the Review Charles Hendry and his Review Team visited Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Liverpool, Bristol and Sheffield. This enabled him to speak directly to people who would be involved in, or affected by proposals for tidal lagoons. The Review received almost 200 responses to the Call for Evidence.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and Baseload Tidal Generation in the UK Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 16 Jan 2017

Charles Hendry, former energy secretary, published his long awaited report on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon power station last week coming down in favour of the project. Hendry’s report is comprehensive but has one key omission. It does not ask if tidal lagoons can provide renewable base-load power in the UK as is often claimed. I set out in a positive frame of mind to show that it could, but failed miserably in that attempt. Facts defeated me.

Green Mythology: Tidal Base-load Power in the UK Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 23 Jan 2017

Scientists working at The University of Liverpool and the NERC Proudman Oceanic Laboratory have developed elegant computer simulations of electricity generation from tidal barrage and tidal flow power stations deployed in the Severn Estuary and the East Irish Sea. The models show that no combination of tidal system from this area can produce continuous and uniform base-load generation. Despite this, these workers conclude that it can. Adding pumped storage hydro provides an economical and practical way to smooth out daily fluctuations but cuts peak output power by over 50%. Large-scale deployment of tidal stations will modify coastlines that deploying renewable energy is supposed to prevent.

Swansea Bay

A Trip Round Swansea Bay Roger Andrews; Energy Matters; 25 May 2015

“Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc is developing a 320MW tidal lagoon power project in Swansea Bay. The company aims to begin construction in the first half of 2015 with first power generation in the second half of 2018. The Swansea Bay project is the first of a pipeline of tidal lagoon power projects identified by the parent developer Tidal Lagoon Power plc (TLP), with five subsequent full-scale lagoons at various stages of development which could be operational by 2023. TLP anticipates that the total potential electricity generation from this pipeline could match or exceed 25TWh/year … equivalent to around 8% of UK electricity demand.”
(The five subsequent lagoons at various stages of development are Cardiff, Newport, West Cumbria, Colwyn Bay and Bridgwater Bay.)
What do we know about the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project? One thing is that as a stand-alone project it’s neither efficient nor cost-competitive. With an installed capacity of 320MW and annual generation of 495GWh it has a load factor of only 18%, about half that of offshore wind. A report by Poyry estimates capital costs at £913 million (£2,853/kW), a levelized electricity cost of £150/MWh and a strike price of £168/MWh, much higher than the £92.50/MWh strike price at Hinkley Point. The strike price is, however, projected to decrease to parity with Hinkley for the much larger Lagoon 3, which is scheduled to be operational in 2023.

Cardiff Bay

The Cardiff Bay Tidal Lagoon – can it power 1.3 million Welsh homes? Roger Andrews; Energy Matters; 11 Oct 2017

“Cardiff Tidal Lagoon is now being developed as the first full-scale lagoon in our programme. With a potential installed capacity of around 3GW, this project could provide enough green, clean home-grown power for every home in Wales.” Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive, Tidal Lagoon Power. In this post we investigate this claim. The results, as usual, are predictable.
It will have a nominal capacity of around 3GW – the official number is 3.24GW – and is estimated to cost around £8 billion. Production will be approximately 5.5TWh per year (giving a capacity factor of around 20%).