Tidal Energy Can Meet 20 Percent Of UK Electricity Needs, Report Says


UK officials are underestimating the vast energy potential of marine tides, a renewable and reliable energy source that could meet 20 percent of the nation’s electricity needs, according to a new report.

Writing in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, researchers explain that while the process of exploiting tidal energy remains expensive, it has the potential to be a more reliable energy source than wind or wave energy and to be more easily managed on electricity grids.

While the technology is in the early stages, the researchers say they are optimistic that the two principle means of exploiting tidal energy — construction of barrages across tidal estuaries that generate power from the ebb and flow of the water, and adding underwater turbines in fast-flowing currents — can be implemented in the near future. “From tidal barrages you can reasonably expect you can get 15 percent of UK electricity needs,” Nicholas Yates, a researcher at the National Oceanography Centre and co-author of the report, told BBC News.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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