CoRMaT Tidal Turbine

Capital Costs - The Challenge to be Addressed

The choice of energy source for electrical power generation is driven by a number of factors including: cost of generated electricity; responsiveness of generating plant to demand; security of supply/ resource availability; environmental impact; and execution risk. Tidal energy is unique among renewable technologies since it has the capability of providing predictable, firm power contributing to security of supply. The immediate challenge for tidal energy is to demonstrate it's ability to deliver electricity at a price that is competitive with offshore wind.

Wind energy generation has experienced significant growth in the last decade with installed global total capacity growing from 10,200MW in 1998 to 120,791MW in 2008. A considerable portion of recent growth has been in offshore wind which has grown from about 10,000MW installed capacity in 2003 to 58,000MW in 2008 with significant future growth forecast.

Since tidal energy is a renewable resource whose development shares many of the characteristics and challenges of offshore wind development, it seems reasonable to expect the tidal generation market to behave in a similar way to this mature market if:

  • tidal devices can be build which compare favourably with the capital and operating costs of offshore wind generation; and.
  • develop a track record for operational reliability.
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