The UK is looking into ways to make their power grid more environmentally sustainable and being an island nation they have looked into using tides. Tidal flows are predictable and reliable which means that power companies can predict energy generated from tide-powered turbines, unlike with unpredictable wind. A new study reveals that the latent energy in tides can be used to supply a lot of the nations electric needs.
“From tidal barrages you can reasonably expect you can get 15% of UK electricity needs, that’s a very solid number,” co-author Dr Nicholas Yates from the National Oceanography Centre told BBC News.
“On top of that there is a 5% tidal stream figure, and with future technological development that is likely to be an underestimate in my view,” he said.
Read more at the BBC.
CETO Wave Energy has designed a system that uses tidal power to both pump water and desalinate it! Desalination is a growing necessity in areas lacking fresh water that have access to sea water; however, it is energy and cost intensive. By using a renewable resource, it makes desalination a viable option.
Unlike other wave energy systems currently under development around the world, the CETO wave power converter is the first unit to be fully-submerged and to produce high pressure seawater from the power of waves.
By delivering high pressure seawater ashore, the technology allows either zero-emission electricity to be produced (similar to hydroelectricity) or zero-emission freshwater (utilising standard reverse osmosis desalination technology). It also means that there is no need for undersea grids or high voltage transmission nor costly marine qualified plants.