Tidal power is one of the newest entrants to the global renewables market and has already been proven as a technically viable solution. The next step for the industry is to scale up and demonstrate it will follow the same cost reduction pathway as wind and other mainstream renewables. Orbital Marine Power is well placed to lead that market.
Tidal energy brings a different power profile to other renewable energy sources:
- Unlike most other forms of renewable energy, tidal energy is predictable years in advance as it is coupled to the relative movement of the earth, moon and sun rather than seasonal and short-term weather conditions. This predictability of supply can significantly improve project economics as trading desks can capture additional value through forward trades of the same units of power through multiple price cycles;
- Tidal stream is modular and scalable, allowing a flexible approach to project sizing for specific resources;
- The energy density of tidal flows is far greater than that of other forms of renewable energy (e.g. wind and solar); and
- The environmental effects of tidal stream energy can be benign. With low lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and minimal invasiveness, public support for tidal energy is strong.
Globally, the resource is well distributed and has the potential to supply low cost, clean energy in both developed and developing nations. Countries that possess significant tidal energy resources within their territorial waters include the UK, France, Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and many others. Independent estimates of the technically extractable global tidal resource predict up to 160 TWh of power generation per year.