A new report, courtesy of Yale Environment 360, has examined the advantages of both tidal and wave energy, and discusses how marine energy is one of the fastest-growing generation industries in the world.
Focussing on several different tidal projects, Yale Environment 360’s findings shows that while tidal hasn’t had the enormous financial aid of solar, for example, research and support for the energy source is quickly growing.
The reasons for the surge in interest are many. Despite a level of funding well below optimum, a number of advances in marine tech has shown just how productive and reliable tidal energy is. As well as providing a constant stream of energy from twice daily tides, therefore eliminating the need for complex and expensive energy storage systems, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that “more than one third of all electricity used in the United States could be drawn from the seas.”
What’s more, even with a tiny $400 million investment in US marine energy (compared to more than $150 billion for solar), global development in tidal technology is growing.
The prevailing downside remains the high cost for many projects. Despite relatively cheap costs for the operation and maintenance of tidal lagoons, the initial build cost is often in the billions. However, due to the ability to tailor and customise each project to its location, this cost can be significantly reduced. Such is the case with the Wyre Eco-THEP (Tidal Hydro Energy Plant), which has a build cost of less than £200 million.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit the Yale Environment 360 website.