The tide is turning for underwater turbines

A scale-up of tidal energy projects aims to expand capacity, improve reliability and prove their worth to investors as a renewable energy source.

It’s clean, doesn’t spoil the landscape and is totally predictable, yet tidal power is one of the least exploited forms of renewable energy.

The challenge of building out at sea, the toll the salt water can take on equipment and the huge strain the currents can put on components has meant that it is seen as an expensive endeavour.

‘The sea is one of the world’s most challenging environments,’ said Simon Forrest, chief executive of Nova Innovation, a tidal power company based in Edinburgh, UK. ‘However, technical innovation and learnings from the wind sector are being used to make the dream of harnessing energy from the tide a reality.’

Last year, Nova Innovation deployed the world’s first array of tidal turbines, which were connected to the electricity grid in Shetland, UK. […]

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