ETI to Model UK’s Tidal Energy Resources

The UK’s tidal energy resources are to be modelled by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in a project that will improve understanding of the possible interactions between tidal energy extraction systems as they are deployed between now and 2050.

The £450,000 Tidal Modelling Project running until the end of 2012 will be led by consulting, engineering and construction company Black & Veatch supported by hydrodynamic modelling specialists HR Wallingford and the University of Edinburgh. The work will be carried out in Redhill, Surrey, Wallingford, Oxfordshire and Edinburgh.

It will develop models of the whole UK Continental Shelf that will be used to investigate how energy extraction at one site may affect the energy available elsewhere. A wide range of possible future tidal stream and tidal range sites, with differing technology possibilities will be represented in the models.

The project will identify how the interactions between different sites around the UK combine to form an overall effect, and what constraints these interactions will place on the design, development and location of future systems.

At the end of the project the models will be made available through a service provided by HR Wallingford to the wider marine industry to help inform future plans and strategies.

 Dr David Clarke, Chief Executive of the ETI said: “There is potential for more of the UK’s tidal resources to be used to generate energy in the future from a combination of tidal stream and tidal range technologies.

 “If this is to happen we need a greater understanding of the impact of energy extraction at various potential sites around the UK.

 “This project will significantly increase the understanding of the effects of different interacting tidal energy schemes in UK waters giving the marine industry the evidence and knowledge it needs to make future investment decisions.”

 Andy Baldock, leader of Black & Veatch’s global marine energy team said: “Black & Veatch is very pleased to be leading this important work, which draws heavily on our previous modelling of the key performance, cost and environmental issues surrounding tidal range and tidal stream projects and their associated technologies. We are particularly pleased to be continuing our existing relationships with HR Wallingford and University of Edinburgh, with whom we have worked on many projects over many years.”

The ETI has invested £133m in 35 projects across eight programme areas, including £24m in its marine programme since it was formed in 2008.


Source: energytechnologies, October 18, 2011