Much has been said about the potential of the Wyre Eco-THEP (Tidal Hydro Energy Plant) project’s potential for producing clean, renewable energy, and these benefits cannot be overstated. However, many question just how reliable such a system is.
Unlike other forms of sustainable energy generation, which are heavily affected by the irregularity of weather patterns, the tides that will power the Wyre Eco-THEP flow in and out of the estuary every 12.4 hours without fail. No matter what time of year, we can rely on the sea to do its job almost twice a day, every day. This makes it more efficient than not only coal, but wind and solar energy as well.
And even with weaker or less chaotic tides, tidal energy’s efficiency is second to none. As water is approximately 1000 times more dense than air, it can generate a high amount of electricity at relatively low speeds—something which wind power is unable to boast.
So the Wyre Eco-THEP will be reliable in the short-term, but what about in the years and decades to come? Luckily the maintenance costs of running the tidal hydro energy plant are extremely low, and they are known to be extremely long lasting; the Rance Tidal Power Station was officially opened in 1966 and is still producing electricity to this day. The longer a tidal plant is operating, the more cost-competitive tidal energy becomes.
There are countless advantages of a project such as the Wyre Eco-THEP, but one thing is certain—it is an extremely dependable energy production system that can provide electricity for years to come.