Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “tidal”

SeaQurrent Underwater Kite

The development of the underwater kite began at the University of Groningen (RUG).

Tidal energy company SeaQurrent is currently installing an underwater-kite in the Waddenzee, offshore the Netherlands, near the island of Ameland.

The local flow is relatively low, 1.0-1.5 m/s, but predictable and water still has a density, 832 times higher than air, which more than compensates for the low flow. The size of the kite is 7 x 12 m, which should suffice for 500 kW or 700 households.

SeaQurrent has a pontoon, 1 kilometer out of the coast at Cornwerd, where they developed the system, that is now ready for prime time.

The system operates with 2 kites, that act as a sort of yo-yo using a winch: when one is moving away from the suspension point, the other one is pulled towards it. The electricity generated during moving away from the suspension point delivers more electricity than it costs to pull the kite in again. The kites move in 8-shape trajectories, like a kite in the air. With a maximum speed of about 14 kmh, like a bicycle, they won’t act as fish killers.

The principle isn’t new, other similar systems were tested, like the Swedish Minesto or Dutch Ampyx Power. New is that SeaQurrent kite can operate in waters as shallow as 10 m.

The system won’t solve the world’s energy problems, but it could become a niche product for coastal areas, where 700 households should have little trouble funding this relatively simple device.

[] – Dutch tidal kite nears lift off with VIA 2017 support
[] – Company site
[] – Groningse onderwatervlieger goed voor onze kust

The cable required to connect the kite to the grid in Ameland has been installed,

MeyGen Tidal Power

MeyGen is the worlds largest tidal energy plant which is currently in construction. The project uses four 1.5 MW turbines with 16m rotor diameter turbines submerged on the seabed. The project is owned and run by Tidal Power Scotland Limited and Scottish Enterprise. The high speed of currents in the area, reaching up to 5 metres per second (11 mph), made the chosen site in the Pentland Firth well suited to this type of energy generation… In December 2016 it was announced that the first turbine had begun full power operations, and all four turbines were installed by February 2017. Atlantis plans for 400 MW.

[] – MeyGen

[] – Company site
[] – World’s first large-scale tidal energy farm launches in Scotland

1-2 GW Tidal Power Plans in France


Atlantis Resources Limited has submitted a strategic plan to the French government that includes a goal to deliver 1 GW of tidal power by 2025 at Le Raz Blanchard in France. The company recently completed a study that concludes 2 GW of tidal energy is immediately available to be harnessed at this site in Normandy and 1 GW could be operational by 2025, with potential to create up to 10,000 jobs and attract more than €3 billion (US$3.65 billion) of CAPEX investment.

[] – Atlantis announces plans to deliver 1 GW of tidal power by 2025
[] – Raz Blanchard Tidal Project
[] – Atlantis Study identifies 2 GW of tidal energy
[] – Alderney Race

Green Light Swansea Bay Tidal Power Station?

A UK government commission under former energy cabinet minister Charles Hendry has advised to go ahead with a 320 MW tidal energy project in Swansea Bay, Wales.
The British industry may have missed the boat with wind energy manufacturing, here is a chance to lay a claim on becoming a leader in tidal power.


Three largest operational tidal power plants:

  1. Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, South Korea – 254MW
  2. La Rance Tidal Power Plant, France – 240MW
  3. Annapolis Royal Generating Station, Canada – 20MW

[] – Groen licht voor Britse getijdencentrale van ±500 megawatt
[deepresource] – Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
[] – Charles Hendry
[] – Tidal lagoon developer to sign grid deal for £8bn Cardiff project
[] – Ecotricity chief says Swansea tidal lagoon ‘too costly’
[] – Everyone in Swansea is being urged to ‘Love the Tidal Lagoon’ to try to help make it happen
[] – Tidal giants – the world’s five biggest tidal power plants

6 GW Tidal Power Dam Proposed off the Dutch Coast

Cobouw, a more than a century old daily newspaper for the Dutch building industry, proposes a dam perpendicular to the coast of 40 km length that could generate 6 GW of electricity, using 200 turbines, exploiting dynamic tidal power and would cover 1/3 of total Dutch electricity needs. Cost: 15 billion euro, payback time: 15 years. Shallowest depth Northsea: 19 m, 100 km from IJmuiden.


Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Planned in Wales: 250 MW tidal power station, based on a dam of 10.5 km, surrounding 11 km2 lagoon. The lagoon will generate on both ebb and flow tides using bi-directional turbines, allowing it to produce electricity for 16 hours each day. The lagoon could begin supplying electricity to the National Grid in 2017 and has an expected lifespan of 120 years. Investment volume: £650m (EUR 772m or $1006m). Other locations under consideration: Cardiff, Newport and Bridgewater Bay. The company planning to build tidal lagoon issues a £10m share offer to finance the early planning and research stages.




Tidal Energy Could Cover 20% Electricity Needs UK

According to a study by the university of Liverpool 15% could be generated using estuary barrages and turbines and 5% using tidal currents in the open sea, together 20%. This form of energy would be more reliable than wind. Disadvantage are high operational cost as the agressive salt water has negative impact on the turbines, increasing maintenance cost. The largest potential for the UK (and the world) would have a Severn Barrage (8.6 GW). Required would be a 16 km dam in the Severn on the border of England and South-Wales, bringing the total cost at 34 billion GBP. The study pleads for starting smaller projects first and gain experience before larger projects could be tackled.

[] – UK tidal power has huge potential, say scientists
[] – Appraising the extractable tidal energy resource of the UK’s western coastal waters
[] – Gezeitenkraftwerke könnten 20 Prozent des Stroms liefern
[] – Abandoned Severn tidal power project to be reconsidered
[google.maps] – Rance Tidal Power Station
[wikipedia] – Rance Tidal Power Station

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1 MW Scottish Tidal Power Project In Operation

An underwater turbine that is set to be used in Scotland’s first and only consented tidal power project has successfully completed an initial testing period in Orkney, and is providing electricity for homes and businesses on the island of Eday, one of Orkney’s northern isles. A similar design has been operating in Norwegian waters for six years.


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