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How Sustainable Is Tidal Energy?

tide coming in

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint.  One way of doing that is to ensure you’re using a renewable energy source. Tidal Energy produces an estimated 20% of the UK’s electrical energy at present. So today I am asking, “How sustainable is Tidal Energy?” Within this piece, I will explain how Tidal and Wave Energy works. I’ll also tell you how to ensure your home energy supplier uses renewable energy sources.

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How Sustainable is Tidal Energy?

Here inn the UK, the term “Sustainable Energy” is used less than the preferred term, “Renewable Energy is”. Both essentially mean the same thing though. It is something which can’t run out, or is endless – like the sea. This means Tidal energy is a much more environmentally friendly option than carbon. (Carbon being coal, of course).

Some Non Sustainable Energy Sources

Whenever I think of non renewable energy sources, I immediately think of fossil fuels. In the UK, we use Coal, Gas and Oil. All three of these are non renewable energy sources (Or Fossil Fuels). The places where fossil fuels are generated often look like this…

view of a nuclear power plant - asking the question How Sustainable Is Tidal Energy


The above photo is a Nuclear Power Plant. As I mentioned, Nuclear power is a non renewable energy source. Additionally, I feel we should be phasing out Nuclear Power across the globe. In the UK, there are 15 functioning Nuclear reactors. Douglas Healey is more knowledgeable when it comes to renewable power in the USA.

How Tidal Energy Works

According the the UK Government, this is how Tidal Energy works…

Wave and tidal stream energy is electricity generated from the movement of wave and tidal flows.

Wave power is much more predictable than wind power. And it increases during the winter, when electricity demand is at its highest. Tidal stream energy is also predictable and consistent.

It is estimated the UK has around 50% of Europe’s tidal energy resource. A study in 2004 estimated the UK’s technical resource at around 16 terawatts per hour per year. (TWh/year, or 4% of overall supply).

The UK is currently seen as a world leader and focal point for the development of wave and tidal stream technologies. This is because it has an abundance of marine energy resource.

With its excellent marine resource and its expertise in oil and gas exploration… The UK is in a unique position to benefit from this type of renewable energy. And to develop related wave and tidal stream services. The industry is still in its early stages however. So further research is needed to determine how best to exploit these assets.

Devon seaside - how sustainable is tidal power?

How Sustainable is it?

So, when considering the question, how sustainable is tidal energy? It’s a pretty straight forward answer… Tidal energy is as sustainable as I am. The tide and waves will be there for as long as the Sea and moon are. Once they’ve gone, chances are we won’t be here either. To clarify, Tidal power is a clean, green electricity, which is sourced from the sea.

So we now know that Tidal energy is a free, renewable source of energy. Additionally, Tidal energy is a non-polluting energy source. It does not emit any greenhouse gases, either.

Finally, if this post asking How Sustainable is Tidal Energy has been useful… Check out my lifestyle category.



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