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Tidal Energy – Lessons Learnt from the United Kingdom and Opportunities for the Netherlands

Datum 12-11-2009
There has been major interest in the development of several sources of sustainable /renewable energy over the past years. One of the main sources of this type of energy is water power. This report focuses on tidal (range) energy, one of the potential water power sources. In the United Kingdom there is a long history of tidal energy studies. A number of tidal energy projects have been under consideration in the United Kingdom since the 1980’s. None of these tidal projects has been realized yet. The most well-known locations are the Mersey and Severn estuaries. The estimated peak power potential for the Severn project ranges between 1 GW and 15 GW depending on the location of the proposed barrage location. A new feasibility study on the generation of electricity from the Severn Estuary has been initiated in 2008.

Although the tidal ranges in the Netherlands are relatively limited, opportunities may arise as several plans are being developed to re-open estuaries that have been closed in the past.

This report starts with an overview of the majority of tidal energy projects in the UK, followed by the principal issues and lessons learnt. Then, the focus changes to the Netherlands. An investigation of the opportunities for tidal energy in the Netherlands will be presented and it will be evaluated how these findings for the UK can be transferred to the Netherlands in order to support the development of tidal energy in this country.