TIDAL POWER - THE BENEFITS
Research – sponsored by the UK government (Energy White Papers 2003, 2005 and 2007) – has shown that Tidal Power could contribute at least 4500MW (equivalent to the demand of 7 cities the size of Edinburgh) of the UK’s annual requirement by 2020 and Lunar Energy intends to capture a sizeable proportion of this market opportunity. The 2005 Report by Black & Veatch (see downloads section)
on behalf of the Carbon Trust estimated extractable UK tidal resources at 6% of the total UK electricity market worth £18 billion per annum. In current terms one is looking at a conservative valuation of the UK market share for tidal power of over £1 billion annually. One only has to turn to the potential resource in the channel of the Pentland Firth to see the likely under-estimate of the tidal power resource available. Professor Stephen Salter of Edinburgh University says he believes the Pentland Firth could produce as much as 10-20 gigawatts (GW) of electricity - Hunterston B nuclear power station produces 1GW.
The commitment of the UK government to tidal energy is illustrated by its setting up of:
- The Marine Renewable Development Fund (MRDF) with an initial investment of £50 million
- The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney. EMEC has been jointly set up with the European Union (EU) to test and demonstrate wave and tidal energy devices.
- The recent establishment (October 2006) of the Marine Energy Accelerator (MEA) by the Carbon Trust. A major new initiative to support the development of marine renewable energy.
In addition the Scottish Parliament is also committed to the renewable energy sector. In addition the Scottish Parliament is also committed to the renewable energy sector.
||‘The Scottish Executive has set ambitious targets for increasing the % of electricity from renewable sources. The targets are 18% by 2010 and an ‘aspirational’ target of 40% by 2020’
Enterprise & Culture Committee Renewable Energy in Scotland
PREDICTABLE: tidal streams are predictable and thus enable accurate forecasts of future power take-off. Wind and wave technology are dependent on variable sources – tidal power relies on the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun to create currents in the earth’s oceans. Anyone who has watched the tide coming in and going out knows that this pattern can be predicted far into the future. By harnessing tidal power one is locking into an energy field that can be predicted with confidence over the long term.
INVISIBLE:most tidal power systems and all wave power units are highly visible and because they are not based on the seafloor have two drawbacks. They impose themselves on the environment in the same way that wind turbines do. They have the potential to be a surface hazard to other ocean users. The Lunar Energy Tidal Turbine (LTT) is completely invisible. The LTT sits on the seabed and according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) North American Study - June 2006
(see downloads section) as well as their economic assessment paper into the feasibility of a San Francisco Tidal In-Stream Power Plant would only need 46 metres of depth to safely accommodate the largest vessels travelling on the surface.
ECONOMIC: the environmental/economic case for harnessing tidal power is clearly intimately linked to the necessity to control the development of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This coupled with the decline in UK indigenous energy supplies makes a strong economic case for the profitable development of a thriving marine renewable sector within the energy industry.
Lunar Energy has the management and technological skills to be a brand leader in this developing 21st. century technology.