The tidal resource is a phenomenal form of energy which is predictable and is widely available around the world. It is amplified by land masses, gulfs, headlands and estuaries which is demonstrated graphically by the moon’s gravitational harmonic below.
Fortunately the UK is blessed with a huge tidal potential which equates to approximately 10% of the world’s resource. Again there are areas of particular interest where the tidal streams are fastest which translates to the power potential for the area demonstrated below for England and Wales.
Tidal stream energy in the UK has the potential to produce 5 to 16% of the UK’s current energy consumption. The biggest challenge for developing the tidal stream industry is to reduce the costs of deployment. Currently the installation methods in the most commercialised turbines is still very expensive because they require very large and expensive vessels loaned from the oil industry.