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How Tidal Energy Can Be Made to Pay

Date: October 14, 2013 at 15:15 GMT

Abstract: The economics of tidal energy depend more on the costs of anchoring, maintenance and delivering the energy to shore than on the efficiency of the energy extractive devices themselves.
A suite of strongly and widely protected inventions now offers major reductions in these crucial costs. The combination of these operates invisibly below the surface and so cannot be objected to on either navigational or environmental grounds. They open up the prospect of developing sites with slower currents than have interested developers up to now, of ease of retrieval for maintenance, requiring only any small boat instead of a specialised tender with considerable lifting power. They also deliver almost complete protection against storm damage.
As the tidal movements themselves operate all the control arrangements, these are completely fail-safe. The force in these movements is also captured to enable ROVs drill anchor sockets in the rock of the sea bed, greatly reducing the cost of drilling from the surface in situations where the tidal flow puts heavy forces on a drill string. These inventions have particular potential for stabilising the output of offshore wind farms, reinforcing this when the wind blows and providing reliable and constant electricity generation when it does not. 

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