17 Tidal Energy Pros and Cons | Advantages & Disadvantages

You need to fully understand tidal energy pros and cons before deciding to invest in it or use it. Tidal energy is harnessed through the use of tidal waves. The movement of the moon leads to the production of tides in the oceans. Technology has proved that the construction of barriers in specific sites can allow the harnessing of tidal energy. The waves are trapped, after which they are released through controlled channels where they are used to turn turbines, which lead to the production of electricity. The electricity generated can be applied in different industrial applications. Tidal power has several pros and cons so that I will discuss each benefit and harmful for you in this article. It can be generated at specific periods of the day when the tides are low and when they are low. It is a renewable source of energy that will not expose you to pollution and other effects that can lead to environmental pollution.

There are several pros associated with tidal power and drawbacks. You need to consider the two sides before you can move on to make informed decisions in your investment ventures. Let’s start by explaining the tidal power benefits first:

Pros and Cons Of tidal Energy

Pros of Tidal Power

1. Renewable energy source

The tides will be there, provided there is the moon. Cities that invest in tidal energy can be assured of an extended availability of power. Unlike other sources of energy that can be depleted with time, as far as the earth and the moon exist, tidal power will be available. It is a form of energy you can invest; it will offer long-term returns. The investment may be high, but the reality that it will produce electricity for a long will pay itself in the long run. Apart from the longevity, tidal power production experiences minimal maintenance cost, making it a reliable source of power you can rely on to achieve the best returns on investment.

2. Low carbon footprints

There are efforts made all over the world which aim at reducing carbon footprints. The utilization of tidal energy can play a significant role in reducing carbon footprints. There is no burning of fuels involved. It is a pure form of energy that relies on the movement of the waves to generate electricity. Tidal power uses the waves to turn turbines, which in turn leads to the generation of energy. Many cities that aim at reducing their carbon footprints can depend on tidal energy to suppress their carbon footprints. Apart from reducing carbon footprints, the energy from the tidal waves leads to a clean environment. It is a big step which can be taken towards reducing the environmental pollution. Carbon emission can lead to several adverse health effects. It is necessary to look for ways to reduce the adverse effects of flue gas release to the environment. The application of tidal energy generation technology has proved to be highly effective in reducing carbon footprints. It is the best move companies can take to generate energy cleanly.

3. Predictable form of energy

Tidal energy is highly reliable. Technicians can carry out proper mapping, which makes it easy to achieve reliable energy production. The tides are known when they rise and fall. It is estimated they can be rise and fall in a ten-hour circle. Tidal energy can be the best way to provide energy to cities that require high energy production in specific periods in a day. It would help if you researched before you can embark on turbines generation. Even in areas where high amounts of energy are required, it is possible to generate energy from the waves and meet the needs. Tidal energy is designed in such a way it makes it easy to access high amounts of energy.

4. Low running costs

There are logistics involved in moving other forms of energy to generate power like fossil fuels. It is an entirely different issue with tidal energy. There is no logistics needed, and the maintenance required is deficient. You can rely on tidal energy to save on running costs. The only hindrance you will face with tidal energy is the installation of the big machines. Some cities are looking for ways they can reduce their energy running costs. The use of tidal energy can be the best way out. It makes it easy to achieve the best performance. The tidal energy, after installation, will require minimal maintenance, and it will produce large amounts of energy at different intervals. It is a highly reliable form of energy you can rely on to achieve the best performance in energy generation.Tidal Energy advantages and disadvantages

RebeccaLouiseJones [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Long-lasting

The machines used in the generation of tidal energy are long-lasting. The patterns the tides travel to remain the same over a long period. Investors who are looking for long-term investments find that tidal power generation is the best way. Unlike fossil fuels, which can be depleted over time, it is a different incident with tidal power. You can count on the tidal waves to generate energy, which will power coastal cities for decades. Research is being carried out, which aims to realize more sites where tidal energy can be generated. It is among the ways you can embrace to achieve the best in your energy generation.

6. Sufficient power generation at low speeds

It does not matter the tides are running at low speeds. The tidal power can be generated even at low speeds. It is among the few forms of energy that are potent effects even in areas where other forms cannot be generated. The elimination of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide production makes it the best form of energy production, which has been gaining track over the years. People from different parts of the world prefer clean energy. Tidal power is a pure energy form that can reduce carbon footprints in the world.

7. Consistency

Unlike solar panels, which are prone to fluctuations in weather trends. The tidal waves are experienced at specific times in a day. You can rely on them to achieve the best in energy production. The experts have taken into account different measures to site areas where the tides are experienced. Proper mapping of the regions makes it possible to achieve the highest consistency of tidal power. Industries need constant energy production so that they can plan accordingly. The use of tidal energy has proved to be a few highly effective methods in energy production. You can rely on them to achieve the highest energy production in the process. Power plants can plan to inject a certain amount into the gridline after studying the tides. It is unlike hydropower plants, which can be limited due to fluctuations in the amount of water in the dams.

8. High Potential

Tidal energy has high potential. It can produce up to 1400 terabytes in a year. The average consumption of power in the United States is about 4000 terabytes. If used well, tidal power can meet the energy requirements in different parts of the world. Proper mapping is necessary to find areas where the tides can be harnessed to produce the needed energy required to run the systems. Tidal energy production is on the increase. With the advancement in technology, it is possible to achieve the highest energy production standards with time. Investors can scale up to achieve high tidal power production. The potential of tidal energy is endless. With proper investment, it is possible to produce a lot of power. Studies show several sites worldwide where tidal power plants can be set up to achieve great potential in power generation.

9. Tidal energy reduces dependence on foreign fossil fuel

Most countries in the world have coastlines. The coastlines can be carefully studied to find sites where the tidal power stations can be set up. When the tidal power stations are set up, they make the coastal towns self-reliant when it comes to power production. Tides occur almost everywhere on the globe. The right technology can be applied to harness the power from the tides to meet the needs of people from different parts of the world. It is suitable for a country to produce power locally. Political tensions can hinder the movement of fuels, which can affect the economy in one way or another. The initiation of tidal power has proved to be very effective in managing different regions of the world self-independent. Countries can enjoy self-reliance on the tidal power stations.

10. The tidal power station can protect the coast

There are cases where high tides have led to flooding at the coasts. Construction of the tidal power station can contribute towards the production of electricity and, at the same time, act as protection t the cost line. There are some coastlines where people have installed high walls to protect the population against high tides. The walls can be constructed in such a way they will protect the coast against the waves. The power stations can act as the means to provide the necessary power needed to make the coastal regions safe for human settlements.

stragford tidal power project

Aubrey Dale [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Provided there are several benefits associated with tidal power. There are drawbacks associated with tidal power. It is good to consider the drawbacks before you can progress to invest in a tidal power plant. Here are some of the drawbacks of tidal power plants:

Cons of Tidal Power

1. Destruction to marine life

The tidal power plants should be set up at sea.
In most cases, areas, where they are set up are habited by marine life. There is a high risk of marine life destruction during the setup of the power plants. It is good to consider the marine life in a given area before you set them up. The power plants may not expose the immediate population to air pollution, but they can contribute significantly to environmental effects that will affect the fragile marine ecosystem. Marine life should be left to exist naturally. The incorporation of machines such as flood gates and turbines will affect the natural working of the marine ecosystem. It can lead to the destruction of marine life, which can have adverse effects on the ecosystem.

2. Expensive to Construct

The initial investment in tidal power plants is very high. They are costly undertakings that require a lot of capital. Lack of enough capital in many jurisdictions makes them reluctant to invest in tidal power stations. Apart from the high initial cost, the running cost may be low.
In many cases, investors would like to have systems that will spend less to install and have quick returns on investment. It is a different case with the tidal power stations. Investors have to part with large sums of money, but they will have to wait for several years before getting reasonable returns on investment. It is necessary to research widely on the power stations before you can proceed and invest in the tidal power stations. The site where the tidal power station should be located should be studied well to avoid cases where they may be installed in areas that will be less effective.

3. Limited Power Generation

The tidal power plants are limited to generating power during high and low tides. They cannot generate power at other hours of the day. The fact that in most cases, energy is required all day to run cities. Many cities prefer other forms of energy generation, which can guarantee the whole day’s availability of electricity. They can generate vast amounts of energy in specific hours, but they will be limited. It is a limitation that affects their implementation when taking into consideration electricity cannot be stored.

4. Limited Locations

Not all sites can support tidal power plant construction. It is necessary to check on the location before you can proceed to install the power stations. Some cities may prefer the type of power from the tidal power plants, but they will be restricted. The restriction on places where the tidal power station can be set up makes them less popular among investors who are after ways they can have them near consumers. For instance, in a recent study, it was discovered that there is a high potential in Alaska. The location of Alaska makes it uneconomical because power has to be transported over long grid lines before it can be utilized by the American population.

5. Maintenance is Difficult

The technology of generating tidal energy is new. It becomes hard to get experts qualified to run the power stations. There are several factors taken into consideration before experts can progress to invest in the power stations. The fact is that in most cases, maintenance can pose challenges. Most investors decide to venture into other forms of energy generation. The maintenance is low, but it requires specialized experts to keep the machines running. The technology applied in constructing tidal power stations is new; it requires experts who will employ the latest technology to have the systems running. In some places, the technology is new to an extent where it is hard to get experts who can run the machines. In such areas, it becomes hard to get the right experts to run the machines.

Tidal Energy Cons Biofouling

6. Biofouling

When the machines are installed at sea, the saltwater exposes them to different forms of wear and tear. For example, marine life can move close to the tidal power station and hinder the proper working of the station. It is good to take into account the wear and tear of the machines. With time they can lose effectiveness due to the action of saltwater. It is a factor that makes tidal power generation less preferred by many experts in power generation.

7. Considered a new technology

When technology has been in place for a long, it experiences several changes. Studies are carried out from time to time, which leads to improvement in technology. It is unlike the introduction of new technology, which requires experts to invest in many studies before they can improve efficiency or solve issues that can come up during the installation process. There are also unforeseen challenges that can crop up. Experts are after the perfect solution which they can apply. In most cases, they require enough investment. The use of tidal energy is new to the field, which can be hectic for the new users to find it profitable.

What do these Pros and Cons mean for the future of Tidal Power?

Tidal power is among renewable sources. Suppose proper mapping can be carried out to locate the best sites. In that case, it can be a highly reliable form of energy that will play a significant role in improving energy production in coastal regions. There is no production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, which makes it a great addition to the power generation method, which can improve the quality of the environment.