Argument: Tidal energy generates very little energy comparatively

Issue Report: Tidal energy


Ocean Energy Council: Tidal Energy – “there is only one major tidal generating station in operation. This is a 240 megawatt (1 megawatt = 1 MW = 1 million watts) at the mouth of the La Rance river estuary on the northern coast of France (a large coal or nuclear power plant generates about 1,000 MW of electricity). The La Rance generating station has been in operation since 1966 and has been a very reliable source of electricity for France.”

“PROS AND CONS OF TIDAL ENERGY USE”. Energy Consumers Edge – The World Energy Council Ocean Current Report states that total electrical power available from tidal energy use is about 450 GW of installed capacity. The report is a bit confusing to read and appears to be mixing tidal information with other ocean current information. Still, it’s worth reading.

That 450 GW figure seems to be compatible with the data on the WEC Tidal Energy page.

If we apply the .27 average load factor for tidal energy use, we can expect it to deliver about 450GW x 24 hrs x 365 days x .27 LF = 1064 TWh (Terrawatt hours) annually, or a little over 6% of global electrical demand.

James Nash. “The Power of Tidal Energy”. ArticleBase. 22 Aug. 2008 – This energy of tidal waves is harnessed by trapping the water so that it is used to turn turbines. The energy so produced is released through tidal barrages found in either direction. However, generally implementation of tidal power technology worldwide proves to have little potential because of its environmental constraints.

Another reason that is considered to be attributed to the low potential of tidal wave energy is that it would produce electricity more efficiently if it generates electricity in bursts at gaps of perhaps six hours. However this is not feasible as it is the limits of tidal energy applications that hinder the use of tidal energy.