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Should we be investing more in bringing tidal and wave energy to the mass market?

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
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  • Mar 20, 2020
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The new annual report out of the Ocean Energy System shows a massive increase in the amount of energy produced through tidal and wave systems between 2009 (5 GWh) and 2019 (45 GWh). The statistics show a decade of growth, but emphasize the barrier of tidal and wave energy system to the commercial market.

For instance, that 45 GWh statistic is how much was produced in the world. Now, compare that to the capacity of wind energy, which sits at almost 600 GWh in 2018, according to the World Wind Energy Association, and we see an issue in scaling tidal and wave energy systems. 

Until recently, tidal power was an obsession of mostly European countries, led by the United Kingdom, Portugal and Denmark. However, there has been recent buy-in in North America over the last year. In Canada, they offered power purchase agreements to tidal developers and the United States has begun work on using tidal energy as a way to take stress off of energy systems along the country's coasts. 

If the world can harness the power of one of its largest terrestrial resources in developing carbon-free energy, suddenly our climate goals and emissions ambitions receive another boost. However, bringing this technology to the mass market will be interesting as maritime law and riparian rights offer complexities that the sale and use of land do not. 

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Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Mar 22, 2020

Hi Cristopher,

Here's a link to my and Dr Massey's reent podcast on the subject which I hope may be of interest:

https://energycentral.com/c/cp/there-future-wave-tidal-energy

 

 

 

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