Tidal energy refers to energy generated from tides. Also known as tidal power, tidal energy converts hydropower into useful forms of energy like electricity.
Tidal energy is not very popular but it has a great potential as future energy. Unlike the sun or wind, tides are a little predictable.
Advantages of tidal energy
- Tidal energy is renewable. This is because unlike fossil energy or nuclear reserve, the sun’s and moon’s gravitational field will not cease to exist any time.
- This is a form of energy which is very environmental friendly. Apart from the fact that it does not consume a lot of space, tidal energy doesn’t emit climate gases.
- Its predictable since the low and high tides develop with well-known cycles. Thus with the right dimensions, it’s possible to develop the system.
- Tidal power plants have a long lifespan. This makes it cost effective delivering power at discounted prices.
- Low speeds because water is 1000 times denser than air. This makes it possible to deliver electricity at relatively low speeds.
- The utilization of tidal energy reduces the need for nuclear energy.
- Tidal energy is an inexpensive source of energy.
- Tidal energy structures act as protective barriers during storms.
- Tidal energy structures are not an eye sore compared to structures of other energy sources.
- Reduces importation of fuel.
- Offers a consistent source of electricity.
- Tidal energy requires little maintenance and operational cost.
- Tidal energy rewards highly small tidal movements.
- The environmental impacts of tidal energy are on a local level, benefiting the locals.
A possibility of massive production since 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.
Disadvantages of tidal energy
- It should be known that generating electricity from tidal energy is quite expensive. It is estimated commercial production of electricity will only become economical after the year 2020.
- The environmental effects of tidal energy cannot be overlooked.
- Tidal energy plants need to be constructed near land.
- Has a possibility of threatening marine life.
- Tidal energy structures block water affecting the salinity of water.
- Requires a longer gestation period.
- It is a relatively new technology.
- Output is only abundant at certain times of the day necessitating the need for storage.
- Threatens corrosion.
- Installation points may be limited.
- Tidal energy might impact the regular tide cycles negatively.
- A non-continuous backup and storage system is required.
- Tidal energy may reduce the kinetic energy in our oceans.
Tidal energy is the future of energy sources. The advantages of tidal energy do outweigh the disadvantages.
It has a positive effect on the environment and come the year 2020, the full benefit of tidal energy will be realized.