Argument: Tidal power can generate massive energy and slash emissions

Issue Report: Tidal energy


“Wave & Tidal Energy Technology”. Renewable Northwest Project – Potential. Worldwide potential for wave and tidal power is enormous, however, local geography greatly influences the electricity generation potential of each technology. Wave energy resources are best between 30º and 60º latitude in both hemispheres, and the potential tends to be the greatest on western coasts.

The United States receives 2,100 terawatt-hours of incident wave energy along its coastlines each year, and tapping just one quarter of this potential could produce as much energy as the entire U.S. hydropower system. Oregon and Washington have the strongest wave energy resource in the lower 48 states and could eventually generate several thousand megawatts of electricity using wave resources.2 Several sites in Washington’s Puget Sound with excellent tidal resources could be developed, potentially yielding several hundred megawatts of tidal power.3

“Harnessing Energy from the Oceans”. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 30 May 2008 – Forever moving – our restless oceans have enough energy to power the world. As long as the Earth turns and the moon keeps its appointed cycle, the oceans will absorb and dissipate vast amounts of kinetic energy – a renewable energy resource of enormous potential.

Jeremy Elton Jacquot. “Gulf Stream’s Tidal Energy Could Provide Up to a Third of Florida’s Power”. Tree Hugger. 5 Dec. 2007 – As solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies increasingly become seen as viable alternatives to coal- and fossil fuel-based ones, some scientists are already looking beyond recent breakthroughs in these areas to the vast, largely untapped potential offered by the world’s oceans. This follows a recent announcement by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne clearing the way for further research and investment into wind, wave and tidal technologies on the U.S.’s Outer Continental Shelf.

Rick Driscoll, director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology (CEOET), and his colleagues are hard at work developing a device that could allow his state to procure up to a third of its energy needs by tapping into the Gulf Stream’s energy-dense waters. A field of underwater turbines moored 1,000 ft below the surface in the center of the Gulf Stream could – by drawing from its 8 billion gallons per minute flow rate – provide as much energy as several nuclear plants.

“Motion of the ocean can help us turn tide on energy crisis”. Independent. 7 Apr. 2008 – The Strangford tidal flow is an amazing natural phenomenon. If you can imagine a huge bath-tub, fifteen miles long and five miles wide, scooped deep by the glaciers of the last Ice Age, filled and emptied twice daily through a duct which is a mile wide and four miles long, you can have some idea of the immense forces involved.

Not for nothing did the Lough get its name from the Vikings battling the same tides on their way to sack the monasteries on the quieter waters upriver.

Paddy Corrigan may have been the first to see the potential of the site for generating electricity. He was not, by a long way, the first to think of harnessing tidal power.