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A requirement for tidal energy to be cost competitive with off-shore wind energy

Date: October 04, 2013 at 18:48 GMT

The choice of energy source for electrical power generation is driven by a number of factors including:

  • cost of generated electricity;
  • responsiveness of generating plant to demand;
  • security of supply/ resource availability;
  • environmental impact; and execution risk.

Within these, tidal energy is unique among renewable technologies since it has the capability of providing predictable, firm power contributing to security of supply. This predictability gives tidal energy additional value in a future electricity market. Especially those where stochastic renewable technologies contributing to a sizable component of the power supplied; and where reserve capacity is required to maintain supply during periods of non-availability. In the shorter term, in order for tidal energy to gain commercial acceptance tidal technologies under development need to produce electricity at a competitive price, similar to that of off-shore wind.

This paper examines the developments in tidal energy aimed at reducing capital costs and appraises these against bench-mark values for off-shore wind.

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