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Tidal energy: advantages and disadvantages

The origin of tidal power dates back to the 1960s, when France created the first tidal power plant, which is still in operation today. At present this type of energy is still being generated, although in very small amounts since the available technologies do not allow more performance to this type of energy. Tidal energy has great advantages, the most important is that it is a clean and renewable energy, but it also has some disadvantages that make it not possible to take great advantage of it to be able to replace conventional energies.

If you want to know more about tidal energy, or also known as marine energy or ocean energy , continue reading this AgroCorrn article in which its characteristics and its advantages and disadvantages will be discussed.


You may also be interested in: Tidal energy: what it is and how it works
  1. What is tidal energy and its characteristics
  2. Advantages of tidal or marine energy
  3. Disadvantages of tidal energy
  4. Tidal energy and wave energy

What is tidal energy and its characteristics

Tidal energy, marine energy or ocean energy is that obtained by taking advantage of the movement of the tides . This energy is used by turbines that end up moving the mechanical assembly of an alternator to produce electrical energy.

In addition, another of the main characteristics of tidal energy is that it is a clean and renewable energy . We recommend that you learn more about renewable and non-renewable energies: examples and summary with this other post from AgroCorrn.

Thus, as a summary, we can say that the main characteristics of this energy are that it is a renewable and clean energy that is obtained from the movement of the tides, that is, when they rise and fall.

Advantages of tidal or marine energy

Tidal energy has several advantages and some are really interesting and beneficial. Here are the benefits of tidal power :

  • We are facing a type of renewable energy , since the tides are the result of the gravitational force of attraction of the moon and the sun on the Earth. Therefore, it is an unlimited energy, which can also be obtained at any time of the year .
  • It is a clean energy , its use does not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Learn more about what are clean or green energies here.
  • Its facilities are silent, thanks to this there is no noise pollution.
  • It can be said that it is a predictable energy , thanks to scientific advances it is known when the high seas and the low seas will occur, making it possible to know the power that will be generated. Thanks to this, the design of the systems can be focused so that they are adequate with respect to the potential that is expected.
  • It is also energy efficient thanks to the density of water, therefore energy can be obtained by running the turbines at low speed.
  • Once the facilities are built, they are easy to maintain and power generation is economically affordable.

Disadvantages of tidal energy

Tidal energy also has drawbacks, some are determined by the environmental impact of building the infrastructures that are needed to exploit it, this drawback is also common in the exploitation of other renewable energies such as wind energy . Within the environmental impact derived from the infrastructures there are different drawbacks. Thus, these are the disadvantages of tidal energy with respect to its infrastructures :

  • They can pose a great risk to the plant and animal species that inhabit that territory.
  • It affects the salinity and quality of the water.
  • Alteration of marine habitats, since the large dimensions of the infrastructures modify the area where they are built.

Other disadvantages of tidal energy are:

  • Visual impact since the structures are built near the coasts, which is where the differences of the tides occur.
  • The energy that is generated is more expensive since, being a new type of energy, it cannot compete with those that have been established for a longer time, such as that obtained by fossil fuels or nuclear power plants.
  • The design and construction of its infrastructures involve a high cost.
  • Although it is an energy that can be obtained throughout the year, it is not possible to do so in all parts of the world since in some places the tides do not have the necessary force to generate electricity.

With all the advantages and disadvantages that this type of energy presents, it must be valued to be able to replace conventional energies, since clean and renewable energies are needed.

Tidal energy and wave energy

The hydropower is one that is obtained by kinetic and potential energy of water movement and currents, waves and tides. That is why we find differences in the way of obtaining energy according to the nature of these movements.

We have already commented that tidal energy is generated by taking advantage of the tides, but there is another type of energy with which it is usually confused and falls into error when thinking that they are the same, this is wave energy or also called wave energy . The reality is that they are not the same. For example, one of the tidal power plants in Spain includes one in Mutriku, in Guipúzcua, however, this plant is designed to use wave energy. So what is wave energy? This energy uses the movement of the waves (you can see a video on this topic at the end of everything in this article) to be able to produce electrical energy and if you want to know it better, we invite you to enter this other AgroCorrn article.

Here you can watch a video from our YouTube channel on tidal energy to learn more about it.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tidal energy: advantages and disadvantages , we recommend that you enter our Renewable Energy category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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