Is offshore wind much more efficient than tidal power?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, I do believe so. 

    Without even looking into the difference in the amount of energy produced at peak operating conditions between a wind turbine and a tidal turbine, though I suspect the numbers are somewhat similar, wind energy seems to be the more practical of the two means of obtaining energy, which in turn, I suppose you could say, makes it the more efficient one.

    Both wind and tidal energy have their drawbacks, but tidal energy seems to exceed wind energy in that department.  For instance, tidal energy seems to have more of a dramatic effect on the environment by increasing turbidity (the stirring up of dirt and particles into water) and hindering navigation and recreation of animals.  Wind energy, on the other hand, only poses a minor threat to birds, which is really a non-issue as long as the turbines are not placed directly in the path of migration patterns. 

    Another aspect of these two forms of renewable energies is practicality.  More specifically, I am talking about where they can be built.  The conditions required for wind energy occur all over, whereas tidal energy requires such specific parameters to be really economically feasible that there are only about 20 locations in the world worth developing. 

    For these reasons and more it seems quite plain that offshore wind energy is a more efficient means of producing energy than tidal power.


    P.S. – Though I feel wind energy is more efficient that tidal energy, this does not mean I am against tidal energy.  I think researching all forms of renewable energy is the smartest thing we can do.   And besides, even after taking into account all of their downfalls, when we compare either of these forms of renewable energy to coal power plants, they sure look great!

    Hope this helps!

  2. 0 Votes

    The problem with wind power is!

    In the middle of winter, when we have high pressure, there is often no wind!

    Therefore, we have to fall back on coal powered or gas powered generators to keep us warm.

    The problem with tidal power is!

    The time of the tide changes every day and the power of the tide changes every day as the moon moves round the earth.

    This makes tidal power very un reliable as peake power needs, only very occasionally co incide with the peak morning and evening requirements.

    And again we have to fall back on coal and gas power stations.

  3. 0 Votes

    At present, offshore wind is a more mature renewable energy technology than tidal power, although both offer great potential. The largest difference is not in terms of efficiency (the maximum theoretical efficiency of both is the same, since they operate on the same physical principles, at 59% of total power extractable, and the practical efficiency is close to the theoretical limit, see citation #1) but rather in terms of resource potential. Tidal power is limited in general to tidal basins and washes, where significant differences exist between the water level at high and low tide. By comparison, the offshore wind potential in the eastern United States alone is great enough to supply a major fraction of the electricity needed for the entire power grid of the United States, if technical obstacles such as transmission costs and smoothing of plant output can be overcome (see citation #2).

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