New Project to Explore Potential Energy From Tidal Power

In finding potential new energy sources, the government is tipping $2.5 million for the use of a project that would track and map the energy within Australia’s tides.

Based on a report by The Sydney Morning Herald, the project called “Tidal Energy in Australia – Assessing Resource and Feasibility in Australia’s Future Energy Mix” will develop an online atlas which will lay out resources across the largest and most reliable tides in the world.

Irene Penesis, the Lead Researcher Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania said, “With some of the largest tides in the world, Australia is ideal for this extremely reliable and low-carbon form of energy.”

“Potential investors are currently held back by a lack of detailed information on tidal resources that would help them understand the risks and opportunities available.”

Electricity can be generated by converting kinetic energy through tidal generators. A turbine underwater is directed by ocean currents and the change in sea level can also be controlled.

In a statement, federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said such technology can be used to improve Australia’s grid stability. “As a reliable, low emissions form of energy, tidal generation technology could be integrated to enhance the country’s grid stability, or to provide support to off-grid industrial sites and remote communities.”

The federal government funding for the three-year project will be guaranteed by the Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania spearheads the project, which aims to “unlock tidal energy’s potential to contribute to Australia’s energy needs.”

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht is confident that the project will introduce positive changes and developments to the country. He said, “Ocean energy technologies are in their early stages of development. This research will help Australia to better understand tidal energy and help to maximise renewable energy into the market.”

There are several large-scale tidal generators situated in Asia and Europe. The largest tidal generator, the Shiwa Lake tidal power station can be found in South Korea.

Read the full report here.