A quick internet search for ‘tidal energy’ produces a wealth of information, but given the pace of change in the industry, much of it is fast becoming outdated. The EnFAIT project alone has changed the outlook for tidal power significantly since 2017, changing the technological landscape and economic forecasts as it goes.
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is leading on communicating project outputs on behalf of the project partners, so we decided to ask our own tidal energy experts for a list of the best sources of information on tidal energy out there. You can also find a fact box with the most current figures on the tidal energy industry (correct as of March 2020).
- Starting with the simplest way in to tidal energy, ETIP Ocean offers free resources for schoolchildren, including the interactive game The Saltwater Isles and accompanying lesson plan, introducing the logic behind tidal energy in a fun way.
- The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) provides excellent background information on tidal and wave energy, starting with the basics of how it works up to in-depth analysis.
- Ocean Energy Europe has a library of publications, including the latest Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow published in June 2019 which proposes actions to address the sector’s challenges at the European level.
- ORE Catapult’s website hosts reports and analysis on wind, wave and tidal energy. Read Senior Analyst Miriam Noonan’s latest report, which focusses on the UK industry’s road ahead: Tidal Stream – Opportunities for Collaborative Action
- For the most in-depth reading on tidal technologies, Horizon 2020’s DTOcean+ project has produced Reducing variability in the cost of energy of ocean energy arrays (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 112, September 2019)
The EnFAIT project
- The EnFAIT project reduced the cost of tidal energy by 15% in its first 18 months, putting it ahead of the curve in reaching the target for a 40% reduction by 2022
- The Shetland Tidal Array (STA) is the world’s first grid-connected tidal array
- EnFAIT is doubling the capacity of the array from three to six turbines and identifying the optimal spacing between turbines in a real-world environment
- The UK is home to 50% of Europe’s tidal energy resource and 35% of its wave energy resource
- Tidal stream energy is expected to create 23,000 high-skilled jobs and generate a cumulative net benefit £24 billion by 2050 with more than half of this UK economic benefit (in terms of GVA and jobs) generated in coastal areas in need of regeneration
- The UK has 1,287MW of leased tidal stream sites and 10MW of operational tidal stream capacity with another 897MW consented in Scotland and 340MW in England and Wales
- 8MW of tidal stream technology has been deployed in Europe since 2010
- The UK, France and The Netherlands are the three leading European locations for tidal deployments
- The Shetland Tidal Array is supplied by 100% EU-manufactured content from 14 European countries
 Tidal Stream and Wave Energy Cost Reduction and Industrial Benefit Report, ORE Catapult, May 2018
 UK Marine Energy 2019: A New Industry, Scottish Renewables, 2019
 Ocean Energy: Key Trends and Statistics 2018, Ocean Energy Europe, 2019
Photo courtesy of Michael Dziedzic, Unsplash