JUL 27, 2016 05:32 PM PDT

The low down (and rise up) on tidal power

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Harnessing the power of the rise and fall of the sea level or tidal power to generate electricity is one renewable energy that has much potential but has been slow to take off. Because of very specific site requirements and variable production amounts, electricity from tidal power is minimal compared to other renewable energies. However, there are key benefits that tidal power provides, such as constant and scheduled energy production (unlike solar and wind).

The video explains three mechanisms that can be used generate energy from tides: barrages, fences, and turbines. When tides come into the shore, water can be trapped in reservoirs behind dams. Using potential energy from when the tide drops, the water behind the dam can be let out just like in a regular hydroelectric power plant.

To be productive, an increase of at least 16 feet between low tide to high tide is needed; unfortunately there are few places where tides like these happen. Nevertheless, some power plants are already operating using this idea. One plant in France makes enough energy from tides to power 240,000 homes.

Source: Inventors About
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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