China Speeds up With Tidal Energy Development

“Tidal power generation has the same working theory as hydropower. You have to build dams aside lochs or river mouths where the tide emerges and place hydroelectric generating sets in the dams so that they can generate power due to the difference of tides level. From the angle of energy, hydroelectric generating sets translate tide static energy and kinetic energy into electric energy,” said Yu Rongkai, official director of the Rushan Blue Economic Zone.

China has abundant resources of tidal power. It has more than 18,000 kilometers of mainland coastline and more than 14,000 kilometers of coastline possessed by more than 5,000 islands. According to an incomplete statistics, China has a tidal power reserve of 190 million kilowatts, 38.5 million kilowatts of which is available for development, giving an annual output of 87 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Citing the China Ocean Energy Resources Division, 424 tidal power stations can be built along the coastline, mainly in maritime provinces like Zhejiang and Fujian.

China began to build tidal power stations in the middle of 20th century. Rushan, which is in Shandong province, possesses Asia’s first tidal power station — Jingang Tidal Power Station — which was built several decades ago. Baishakou Tidal Power Station, which was built in 1987, is the second largest tidal power station in China.

Yu Rongkai’s added that tidal power is more reliable than wind power and solar power because it has the following advantages: stability, requires no farmland, environmental-friendly, its cost is seven-eighths less compared to thermal power generation. Thanks to years of pilot study, China has mastered a moderately mature technology and is now the third largest tidal power generation country following France and Canada.


Source: peopledaily, October 26, 2011;