Workability Aspects of Tidal Turbine Arrays on producing Green Energy


Tidal Energy

The hydrokinetic energy that can be extracted from tidal currents is one of the most promising new renewable energy sources. Notwithstanding its huge potential, energy extraction from Tidal Energy Converters (TEC) is still in its infancy and approximately fifteen years behind the wind technology industry.

There is a need for continuing investment in this area at this early stage in order to build the necessary confidence in the technology’s performance and minimisation of environmental impact that will allow for commercial scale developments to be realised in the future.

Tidal energy companies are today developing 2nd generation devices, i.e. more accessible, more efficient and potentially cheaper in order to drive down the unit cost of power and increase the number of potential deployment sites.

This technology advance brings new challenges and opportunities, i.e. sites that were not considered to be attractive for TEC deployments due to the power output will become next targets for tidal energy exploitation.

Major constraints for these future developments on coastal areas are the potential environmental impacts of extracting energy from highly dynamic and complex environments.

Up until now, no information exists for device arrays of TECs except some numerical modelling predictions without validation which are perceived with fairly low confidence by regulatory bodies.

The WATTAGE project embodies an extensive post installation environmental monitoring program coupled with numerical modelling tools in order to better add to the body of environmental impact knowledge and de-risk future projects.