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The economics of tidal energy

  • Denny, Eleanor

Concern over global climate change has led policy makers to accept the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This in turn has led to a large growth in clean renewable generation for electricity production. Much emphasis has been on wind generation as it is among the most advanced forms of renewable generation, however, its variable and relatively unpredictable nature result in increased challenges for electricity system operators. Tidal generation on the other hand is almost perfectly forecastable and as such may be a viable alternative to wind generation. This paper calculates the break-even capital cost for tidal generation on a real electricity system. An electricity market model is used to determine the impact of tidal generation on the operating schedules of the conventional units on the system and on the resulting cycling costs, emissions and fuel savings. It is found that for tidal generation to produce positive net benefits for the case study, the capital costs would have to be less than [euro]510,000 per MW installed which is currently an unrealistically low capital cost. Thus, it is concluded that tidal generation is not a viable option for the case system at the present time.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 1914-1924

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:5:p:1914-1924
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  1. Nyamdash, Batsaikhan & Denny, Eleanor & O'Malley, Mark, 2010. "The viability of balancing wind generation with large scale energy storage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7200-7208, November.
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