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Quantifying the Impact of Tidal Current Energy Variability and Matching UK Demand

Date: November 05, 2013 at 13:07 GMT

Electricity demand varies over time and this variability can be defined over short timescales of seconds to longer durations of weeks and seasons. Trends of demand patterns have been studied to better understand energy consumption in the UK. Studying these trends helps inform prediction of future demand over short and long term based on
current understanding. Introduction of renewables into the electricity network can cause a number of issues related to generation intermittency. However a systematic approach can address the issues of network integration and matching electricity demand with supply. Due to its predictable nature, energy harnessed from tidal currents can be predicted to a high level of accuracy well into the future.
The aim of this study is to explore the availability of economically viable tidal current energy within UK territorial waters, and examines the timings of tidal generation with respect to electricity demand. This is achieved through development of realistic build-out scenarios. Time-series data for sites identified as high energy are obtained using a combination of sources for the year 2009. Scenarios incorporate constraints relating to assessment of the economically harvestable resource, tidal technology potential and practical limits to energy extraction dictated by environmental response. Spatial availability of appropriate bathymetric conditions are assessed which provides an additional limit on the energy harvesting potential. 

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