The cost of tidal power – power generation technologies gas stoichiometry calculator


A tidal power plant is perhaps the most capital-intensive type of power station yet envisaged. It involves building a low-head hydropower scheme in the tidal reaches of an estuary, an environment where construction is, at best, difficult. Construction schedules are long so lengthy up-front loans are required, with a considerable gap between granting of the loan and income from the plant.

The best site in England is the estuary of the River Severn electric utility companies in arizona. It has been extensively studied. The design favoured by the Severn Barrage Development Project in a 1989 report involved construction a power station with an installed generating capacity of 8640 MW. This was expected to take 10 years to build at a cost of around $17 billion at 1994 prices, a unit cost q gas station of $1970/kW.

Capital costs for these two schemes are in line with the cost of similarly sized traditional hydropower projects. But tidal power has two special features which must also be taken into account. First, the load factor is low. A plant operating on the ebb tide will only generate power for half the time. Typical load factors for tidal power plants are around 23%. Efficiency can be improved slightly by pumping water from the sea across gas zone the barrage at high water to increase the head of water. However this involves additional capital expense for pump turbines.

These features mean that the electricity generated from a tidal power station power kinetic energy tends to be expensive. UK estimates, based on figures published by the Energy Technology Support Unit, suggest a generation cost of around $0.1/kWh assuming a discount rate for loan repayment of 8%. The cost of electricity roughly doubles if the discount rate is 15%.

In Australia, the government of Western Australia commissioned a report into a tidal power plant at Derby.1 The report found that the most cost-effective option was a 5 MW tidal plant which would cost A$34 million. The cost of power would be A$0.41/kWh. In this case the plant was intended to replace power generated using diesel engines, which is an expensive source. However even with a renewable energy credit, the project was 6 gases judged too expensive.

As both the UK and Australian examples indicate, on a purely economic basis tidal power looks uncompetitive today. But other criteria should be taken into account when determining the true cost 2015 electricity prices of a tidal power plant. The lifetime of a tidal barrage is probably 120 years; and that is a conservative estimate. Turbines will probably need replacing after 30 or 40 years. Thus, once loans have been repaid, the plant will still have a long life during which it can be expected to generate cheap electric power.

Today, however, the capital intensity is crucial gas dryer vs electric dryer singapore. And without some sort of government support or encouragement, tidal power does not look attractive. Private sector companies have been heavily involved in studies of tidal projects in the UK, but none has yet been tempted to commit itself to construction. The Derby project in Australia was also put forward by the private sector, but this was rejected by the state government in favour of fossil fuel power. While the Australian developers remain hopeful that they can develop a project elsewhere c gastronomie traiteur avis, the outlook for tidal power is generally poor. Changes in the financial and political climate may make tidal power look more attractive in the future. But for now most projects look set to remain paper studies.