Two big projects have launched in Scotland using innovative tidal energy technology to produce power. In the battle against climate change, will these changing tides be the answer to finding green and sustainable energy?
A first for tidal turbines
Power company Nova Innovation has set up the world’s first working dual-turbine tidal system in the Bluemill Sound in Shetland. Tidal turbines are already used for renewable energy but current systems or schemes only use one installation. Nova Innovation’s new ‘tidal array’ system instead uses a chain of two turbines, which have successfully fed into the grid and powered local homes.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks comments that “News that power has been exported to grid for the first time by a pair of tidal devices marks yet another major milestone on Scotland’s journey to becoming a fully renewable nation.”
Banks also underlined the environmental and economic benefits of using Scotland’s natural resources; “With some of the most powerful tides in Europe, Scotland is well placed to lead in developing this promising technology, which will help to cut climate emissions and create green jobs right across the country.”
This is an impressive breakthrough for tidal energy, paving the way for tidal farms. A project is already underway near Inverness, thanks to MayGen. Jenny Hogan, policy director at Scottish Renewables, states that "Scotland is already at the forefront of capturing power from the tides and waves, and Nova's latest news demonstrates that lead is well-deserved”.
Tidal energy on a larger scale
MayGen recently announced their new project which aims to be the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the first of four turbines to be installed in the Inner Sound of Pentland Firth near Inverness.
Sturgeon stated, “I am incredibly proud of Scotland’s role in leading the way in tackling climate change, and investment in marine renewables is a hugely important part of this.”
The turbine weighed nearly 200 tonnes and measured around 15 metres tall, with blades 16 metres in diameter. With a capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW), the project hopes to install more than 200 turbines in this farm, which would power the electricity of around 175,000 homes (with around 398MW).
The chief executive of Atlantis Resources, Tim Cornelius, commented that “This is the day the tidal power industry announced itself as the most exciting new asset class of renewable, sustainable generation in the UK’s future energy mix.”
With Nova Innovation’s tidal array project feeding into the power grid less than a month before, this innovative tidal energy farm shows the leaps and bounds that marine energy is taking towards a renewable future.
Green technology is developing in all sorts of exciting ways both domestic and commercial, such as cutting edge combined rain and solar panels. If you want to help combat climate change and reduce your carbon emissions at home, it’s worth checking the efficiency of your current boiler. Installing a new energy efficient boiler to replace an old model can help cut your CO2 emissions. If a new boiler is too costly, there are few tips for energy saving at home you can try, while boiler cover can save you money on repairs if anything happens to your boiler.