Category Archives: Tidal
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two nationwide resource assessments showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation’s coasts could contribute significantly to the United States’ total annual electricity production, further diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and provide clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities.
These new wave and tidal resource assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of the technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15% of our nation’s electricity by 2030. The reports represent the most rigorous analysis undertaken to date to accurately define the magnitude and location of America’s ocean energy resources. The information in these resource assessments can help to further develop the country’s significant ocean energy resources, create new industries and new jobs in America, and secure U.S. leadership in an emerging global market.
The United States uses about 4,000 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year. DOE estimates that the maximum theoretical electric generation that could be produced from waves and tidal currents is approximately 1,420 TWh per year, approximately one-third of the nation’s total annual electricity usage. Although not all of the resource potential identified in these assessments can realistically be developed, the results still represent major opportunities for new water power development in the United States, highlighting specific opportunities to expand on the 6% of the nation’s electricity already generated from renewable hydropower resources.
The two reports—”Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource” and “Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States”—calculate the maximum kinetic energy available from waves and tides off U.S. coasts that could be used for future energy production, and which represent largely untapped opportunities for renewable energy development in the United States.
The West Coast, including Alaska and Hawaii, has especially high potential for wave energy development, while significant opportunities for wave energy also exist along the East Coast. Additionally, parts of both the West and East Coasts have strong tides that could be tapped to produce energy.
Earlier this year, DOE announced the availability of its national tidal resource database, which maps the maximum theoretically available energy in the nation’s tidal streams. This database contributed to the “Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States” report, prepared by Georgia Tech.
The wave energy assessment report, titled “Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource,” was prepared by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), with support and data validation from researchers at Virginia Tech and DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The report describes the methods used to produce geospatial data and to map the average annual and monthly significant wave height, wave energy period, mean direction, and wave power density in the coastal United States. NREL incorporated the data into a new marine and hydrokinetic energy section in their U.S. Renewable Resource atlas.
In addition to the wave and tidal resource assessments released , DOE plans to release additional resource assessments for ocean current, ocean thermal gradients, and new hydropower resources in 2012. To support the development of technologies that can tap into these vast water power resources, DOE’s Water Power Program is undertaking a detailed technical and economic assessment of a wide range of water power technologies in order to more accurately predict the opportunities and costs of developing and deploying these innovative technologies. The Program is currently sponsoring over 40 demonstration projects that will advance the commercial readiness of these systems, provide first-of-a-kind, in-water performance data that will validate cost-of-energy predictions, and identify pathways for large cost reductions.
These resource assessments, techno-economic assessments, and technology demonstration projects are critical elements of DOE’s strategy to capture the very real opportunities associated with water power development, and to further define the path to supplying 15% of the nation’s electricity through water power technologies.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. DOE’s Water Power Program is paving the way for industry and government to make sound investment and policy decisions about the deployment of renewable water power technologies by quantifying the nation’s theoretically available water power resources.
- DCENR Submits WestWave Project for EU Funding (Ireland)
- Turbines to Harness Tidal Energy in Admiralty Inlet (USA)
- OPT Announces Presentation at Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference (USA)
- UK: NREL Installs Tidal Power Vessel in Humber
- UK: Pelamis Wave Power Device Set Sail for Orkney
- UK: Rolls-Royce Hits 100MWh Milestone with Tidal Technology (mb50.wordpress.com)
- UK: Siemens Increases Stake in Tidal Energy Company Marine Current Turbines (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Wave Power Wants Piece Of Newport Beach Surf (earthtechling.com)
Supporters of a barrage argue that it is second only to wind power in its ability to produce a substantial amount of electricity and in being a proven technology.
That is debatable, but what is certain is that the wind industry is facing increasing difficulties in getting projects off the ground.
Not only are wind farms becoming more likely to be rejected by local planners, investors are becoming increasingly put off by a perceived lack of political support, particularly in Wales.
This was highlighted in the summer when First Minister Carwyn Jones announced that the Welsh Government did not see the need for a large overhead pylon network in Mid Wales to connect wind farm developments to the grid.
The statement suggested the Welsh Government did not support major new wind farm developments since burying the power cables would add significantly to the cost.
The solar power industry has also had a hard time of it, although it is perhaps a victim of its own success.
First it imposed an upper limit of 50 kilowatts (kw) on the size of installations entitled to FITs, killing off the development of large solar parks. Then it announced it was to half the FITs rate from 43p to 21p by December 12, a far larger and earlier cut than had been previously suggested.
Supporters of renewable energy hope new biomass and anaerobic digestion plants will take up some of the slack, but there is every likelihood these will also face local planning difficulties, as waste burning plants elsewhere have.
In this context, tidal energy projects could be the best hope for renewable energy.
by Chris Kelsey (walesonline)
- More funding for wave and tidal (bbc.co.uk)
- Believe it, renewable tidal energy, alternatives from water (ees2001.wordpress.com)