5 Advantages of Tidal Energy Explained

Advantages of tidal energy are; relatively-high energy density, no emissions, renewable supply, predictability, and role in energy transition.


This article discusses the advantages of tidal energy, as follows;






1). Relatively High Energy Density (as one of the Advantages of Tidal Energy)

Tidal energy has high density compared to other energy resources, especially forms of renewable energy like wind and solar.

High energy density of tidal resources can be attributed to the density of sea water itself, which is about 832 times that of air [1]. When propagated as an incompressible fluid, water in the form of tides contains very large amounts of kinetic and potential energy [2].

The amount of energy produced by tidal resources is at least 6 kW/m^2, and can exceed 8 kW/m^2 in many cases [4].

High energy density is an advantage because it indicates that tidal resources have huge potential as an alternative to fossil fuels. It also shows that the development of this form of energy can have economic benefits for both the operators and the society at large.






2). No Emissions

Tidal energy produces no emissions, because it is not carbon-intensive, and neither requires any form of combustion or physicochemical transformation to be extracted from its hydrological source.

Since there are no carbon emissions associated with tidal energy, it can be considered clean and environment-friendly.

Aside emissions, tidal energy development does not tend to cause environmental degradation in the form of water, soil or air pollution.

This is a huge advantage, especially given the problems created by some negative environmental impacts of energy development. It also indicates that tidal energy can play a role in the establishment of sustainability and a green economy, at least in countries with access to tidal resources.

However, this does not imply that tidal energy has absolutely no effect on the ecosystem, as one of the known disadvantages of tidal energy development is its implications for the physicochemical conditions of the marine ecosystem and its biotic components.

The absence of emissions and hazardous waste is only a major advantage, since these are the biggest challenges of conventional energy resources.

Economic savings can even be made by reason of the cleanliness of tidal energy, as there will be less need for intensive environmental remediation and carbon tax payments, among others. Resources saved from such areas can be invested into improving system performance and reliability.






3). Renewable Supply (as one of the Advantages of Tidal Energy)

Tidal energy is renewable because it works by the interaction of naturally-occurring and infinite resources and phenomena like solar radiation, gravitational acceleration, and Coriolis dynamics [3].

By being both renewable and clean, tidal energy is fully aligned with the demands of sustainable development, and its high energy density implies that it combines these positive attributes with large-scale electricity generation potential.

Renewable supply makes tidal energy an option to meet the needs of the human population in a sustainable manner, that facilitates present economic growth while ensuring that future economies are secure.

Advantages of Tidal Energy: Renewable Supply (Credit: Scottish Government 2012 .CC BY 2.0.)
Advantages of Tidal Energy: Renewable Supply (Credit: Scottish Government 2012 .CC BY 2.0.)







4). Predictability

The supply pattern of electricity from tidal power plants is fairly predictable, due to the cyclic trend of natural ocean tides.

Predictability is a huge advantage of tidal energy, especially over other energy forms like wind and solar.

Based on this attribute, it is possible to forecast tidal power generation and plan effectively to achieve maximum energy efficiency.

It is important to note that predictability does not imply that tidal energy is constant, but only that the intervals between maximum energy supply are fairly regular.






5). Role in Energy Transition (as one of the Advantages of Tidal Energy)

Being renewable and clean, tidal energy has the advantage of being a prospective replacement for fossil fuels and a means to achieve energy transition to sustainable sources.

Even in the absence of a total replacement, tidal energy can help diversify the usable energy options in any area where it can be harnessed. Such diversity can have economic benefits, as commercial and industrial activities will not rely on a single energy resource.







Advantages of tidal energy are;

1. Relatively High Energy Density

2. No Emissions

3. Renewable Supply

4. Predictability

5. Role in Energy Transition







1). Buigues, G.; Zamora, I.; Mazon, A. J.; Valverde, V.; Pérez, F. J. (2006). "Sea Energy Conversion: Problems and Possibilities." Available at: https://doi.org/10.24084/repqj04.242. (Accessed 10 February 2023).

2). Lewis, M.; Neill, S. P.; Hashemi, M. R. (2014). "Realistic wave conditions and their influence on quantifying the tidal stream energy resource." Applied Energy 136. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.09.061. (Accessed 10 February 2023).

3). Nicholls-Lee, R. F.; Turnock, S. R. (2008). "Tidal energy extraction: renewable, sustainable and predictable." Sci Prog. 2008;91(Pt 1):81-111. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3184/003685008X285582. (Accessed 10 February 2023).

4). Orhan, K.; Mayerle, R.; Pandoe, W. (2015). "Assesment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Stream Currents in Indonesia." Energy Procedia 76:7-16. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.834. (Accessed 10 February 2023).

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