A techno-economic analysis of tidal energy technology

Johnstone, Cameron and Pratt, D. and Clarke, Joseph and Grant, Andrew (2013) A techno-economic analysis of tidal energy technology. Renewable Energy, 49. pp. 101-106. ISSN 0960-1481

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Abstract

The choice of which type of electrical power generation technology to adopt 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 as a renewable technology 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 one where stochastic renewable technologies contribute 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. This paper examines the drivers influencing electricity pricing; current tidal energy developments, aimed at reducing capital costs; and bench-mark these against offshore wind.