Tidal energy is one of the largest untapped sources of renewable energy in the world. Tidal cycles, which are mainly driven by the phases of the moon, are highly predictable and reliable. This means that it is known beforehand how much electricity a tidal device will produce. Moreover, it will also work when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.
The physical capacity of tidal energy worldwide is estimated at 3 TW (3,000,000 MW) (source: IEA-OES Annual Report, 2009). With current technologies it is assumed that at least 60,000 MW of the resource are technically extractable.
The gravitational forces of the moon, and to a lesser extent the sun, on the Earth move the water of the oceans. A tidal cycle involves water flowing into a region due to these forces, and then flowing out from that region again. The movement of the water at a given location is cyclical and predictable. These water flows are called tidal currents and typically there are two tides per day due to the rotation of the Earth. Turbines placed in tidal currents will rotate and thus harness the tidal energy. Sites that are suitable for installing tidal devices can be found all over the globe.
Tidal energy is a clean, safe and reliable source of energy. It is a form of hydrokinetic power, which is harvested by capturing the energy from tidal currents and converting it into electricity.
Water rotates the blades of a submerged turbine, driving a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is then exported through a power cable to the shore. Generating electricity from tidal energy is a proven concept, and very predictable.
The main challenge is to install these turbines in the oceans and maintain them there at acceptable and competitive costs. Using our expertise in the design of floating systems, marine operations and offshore maintenance, we have developed a floating support platform for tidal turbines called BlueTEC: Bluewater’s Tidal Energy Conversion platform.
With BlueTEC, Bluewater introduces a breakthrough solution to the emerging tidal energy industry based on over 30 years of offshore experience.