Published on October 13th, 2012 | by James Ayre2
Tidal Power Capacity Potential in the UK Estimated at 153 GW
The report from the Crown Estate underlines the enormous energy potential in the UK’s marine environment. To harness this enormous 153 GW of tidal power capacity, there are three primary types of technology that will be needed — tidal stream devices, tidal range barrage schemes, and tidal range lagoon schemes.
“The report predicts tidal stream devices could produce 95 terawatt hours (TWh) a year from 32GW of installed capacity, tidal range barrage schemes could supply 96 TWh/year from 45GW of capacity, and tidal range lagoon schemes could produce 25TWh/year, drawing on 14GW of capacity.”
And there is also the potential for “27GW of wave energy capacity, which could produce 69TWh of electricity a year.”
The authors of the report say that the figures for the different technologies should be interpreted separately, and that all of the results remain theoretical for now.
According to Rob Hastings, the director of the Crown Estate energy and infrastructure portfolio, the report is intended to be a reference to help in the development of the industry and associated policies.
“While the science of wave and tidal resource assessment is still emerging, and future work will clarify the resources that are practically available, it is clear that wave and tidal energy could contribute substantially to the UK’s electricity needs,” he said.
“Improving understanding about the extent and locations of resources will help to accelerate development in a sustainable way.”
The UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, recently visited the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and had this to say:
“[EMEC is a huge asset to the development of wave and tidal energy in the UK and has helped secure UK leadership in the global market.
“The UK has the largest wave and tidal resource in Europe, which could produce 20 per cent of current UK electricity demand and cut carbon emissions.”