Wave and Tidal Power Could Supply One-Third of the World’s Electricity Needs

Research says we only have to invest in developing the technology.


Wave and Tidal Power is one of the most sustainable but untapped energy resource.

There is so much potential in using tidal waves as a source of electricity. All we need to do is develop proper technology and facilities that would harness the massive energy that comes from our ocean, theoretically able to provide for one third of the global electricity demand.

Wave and Tidal Power

That is the core of the study conducted by the researchers at the School of Ocean Sciences in Bangor University in North Wales, United Kingdom. In a press release, they said that 5,792 TWh could be produced by tidal range power plants by using tidal lagoons and barrages to convert energy. This is not a difficult harvest since they claim that the rise and fall of the world’s oceans are highly predictable.

In the review published in the international peer-reviewed journal Renewable Energy, it wrote how tidal lagoon power plants can be optimized through detailed modeling. Furthermore, it discussed the different mode of operations of multiple tidal lagoons located along a coastline, may it be flood only, ebb only, and two-way generation plants.

Wave and Tidal Power

Dr. Simon Neill, lead author of the study, explained, “Tidal lagoons are attracting national and international attention, with the 2017 publication of the government commissioned “Hendry Review”, which assessed the economic case for tidal lagoon power plants, and suggested that a “Pathfinder” project in Swansea Bay could be the start of a global industry. Geographically, the UK is in an ideal position, containing many regions of large tidal range as a result of the resonant characteristics of this part of the European shelf seas.”

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The study indicated that 90% of the resource is only distributed across 5 countries, with France having a significant share of the resource other than the United Kingdom.

Wave and Tidal Power

Another author of the study, Dr. Sophie Ward, mentioned that it takes sophisticated research for these types of power plants to flourish.

She said, ”Although tidal lagoons will likely be less intrusive than tidal barrages (which tend to span entire estuaries), they require careful design and planning to minimize the impact on the local environment.

“With significant global potential for tidal range power plants, we need to closely monitor environmental consequences of extracting energy from the tides, and be cautious of altering natural habitats by building structures and impounding water in lagoons or behind barrages,” she added.

Wave and Tidal Power

Source: NRN-LCEE

John Vauden

Novelist, fictional writer and literary expert based in Australia

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  1. Interesting coverage but please note the review addresses tidal range energy, not tidal waves – that is quite a different thing

Wave and Tidal Power Could Supply One-Third of the World’s Electricity Needs

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