Tidal stream energy is harnessed by installing turbines in fast flowing tidal currents.
Globally, the resource is well distributed and has the potential to supply low cost, clean energy in both developed and developing nations. Countries that possess significant tidal energy resources within their territorial waters include the UK, France, Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and many others. Independent estimates of the technically extractable global tidal resource predict up to 160 TWh of power generation per year.
Scotrenewables is headquartered in the UK, which possesses more than 10-15% of the known global tidal resource, enough to supply almost 6% of UK electricity demand.
Within the UK, there are more than 30 major areas of tidal stream potential, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that tend to occur where coastal geography has the effect of focusing the force of the tide.
Examples include narrow tidal straits, such as the Pentland Firth, one of the best resource areas in the world, constricted estuaries such as that of the Severn, and areas where major tidal flows meet, as in the southern North Sea and the English Channel.