The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tidal Energy Power

Tidal energy is a form of hydro power that utilizes the use of the tides in the oceans and seas that surround every continent on the planet. Turbines, barrages, and other types of energy harnessing tools are used to capture and generate a great deal of renewable energy from these tides. The idea for tidal energy has been around for thousands of years, and we are slowly beginning to hone the process enough to make it a very realistic answer to the inevitable energy crisis that our planet will face in the coming centuries. However, there are still many critics of tidal energy because of some of the consequences it could have.

The Advantages of Tidal Energy

1. A Very Predictable Energy Source
Ever since the beginning of time itself, the oceans have had tides. Massive amounts of water move in extremely predictable patterns. This makes it very easy to harness the energy that these tides can generate, because we can predict their movements as far as years ahead.

2. An Inexhaustible Source of Energy
There will be no shortage of tides anytime soon. They are controlled by the gravitational pull between the earth, sun, and moon. This means that as long as the earth is being orbited by the moon, the tides will continue to be there producing energy.

3. Very Low Costs To Operate
Once the initial constructions costs are done, there are very few additional costs to keep the tidal energy plant up and running. Little maintenance is required, and minimal personnel as well.

4. Effective Even At Low Speeds
Since water is much denser than air, the amount of movement needed to generate power is very low. It has been proven that tidal energy can still be harnessed even if the water is only moving at 3 feet per second.

5. Can Last Forever
Okay, maybe not literally forever, but a very long time! Tidal energy plants are very simple, and made of durable and simple materials that can withstand the time very well.

6. Completely Green
There are no carbon emissions from tidal energy plants, making it an energy source that does not negatively affect the global environment.

The Disadvantages of Tidal Energy

1. Effects on Marine Life
The biggest concern regarding tidal energy is the effect that the turbines and plants will have on the marine life in the surrounding areas. The mounting of the turbines could greatly interrupt the habitats of marine life and also prevent natural movements of species.

2. High Construction Costs
The costs of the tricky on the water construction and the expensive equipment necessary to build a tidal energy plant can add up very quickly. These costs are usually transferred onto the tax payers.

3. Changes In Tidal Movement
The exact locations and intensity of the tides can very drastically. If the tides where to shift enough from the location of the energy plant, it could be rendered useless.

4. Difficult Sea Usage
The tidal plant could greatly impact the access of the sea. This could effect transportation of goods and other vessels that need to travel by the ocean.

5. Location Limits
There are very few ocean shores that are suitable for the construction of a tidal energy plant. Research has shown that only around 20 areas in the entire world would work to harness tidal energy.

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Important Facts About Tidal Energy

  • Tidal energy is the oldest form of energy, dating back to around 800 A.D..
  • It was originally used to harvest and smash grains.
  • The tidal movement of the ocean occurs twice a day, in the evening and morning, every single day.
  • The cost of building a tidal energy plant is between 100 and 200 million dollars, depending on the power limits.
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