Scottish Power Renewables Whitelee Windfarm visitor centre

The tide is predictable and powerful and can be used to generate electricity.

Generating electricity from the natural tide is an exciting new possibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tidal technology?

The tide follows a cycle and moves water in and out of the shores twice a day. This is caused by the gravitation of the sun and moon and the rotation of the earth. By harnessing the power of this moving water we can generate electricity.

How does the tide generate electricity?

Many forms of tidal technology are currently under development. One form of tidal technology that is currently in use is a tidal barrage. This acts like a dam in the sea, pushing the water moved by the tide through turbines to generate electricity. Another popular form of tidal technology is turbines. These closely resemble the turbines found at onshore windfarms. As the tide moves water forwards and back, the blades of the turbine are pushed round and this generates electricity. As water is much denser than air, tidal turbines and their blades don’t need to be as large as onshore turbines.

Is tidal electricity renewable?

Tidal is a renewable as it is controlled by the gravitation of the sun and the moon round the earth. As long as we have this we will have tides.

What are the advantages of tidal electricity?

The main advantage of generating electricity from the tides is that it is predictable. After tidal technology has been constructed it is free to generate electricity and the electricity that it does generate has no carbon emissions and doesn’t pollute.

What are the disadvantages of tidal electricity?
Currently, the majority of tidal technology is in development and hasn’t been extensively tested. This means that it may be some time before we will see the real benefits of this technology.

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