Medium-term variability of the UK's combined tidal energy resource for a net-zero carbon grid

Grazia Todeschini, Daniel Coles, Matt J. Lewis, Ivan Popov, Athanasios Angeloudis, Iain Fairley, Fraser Johnson, A Williams, Peter E. Robins, Ian Masters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The small area of the United Kingdom relative to weather systems makes renewable energy sources variable on short time scales. Short term variability is therefore a growing concern with increasing amounts of renewable energy integration. In this work, we address how tidal energy can contribute to reducing medium-term variability in the future UK energy mix. Two tidal integration scenarios are defined for 2050: for each scenario, a 5-min interval generation profile is calculated using an oceanographic model of UK tides, and the medium-term variability is assessed. Here we show that tidal power shows a lower level of variability compared to other resources. During spring tides, a national network of tidal power stations can produce continuous, although variable, electricity. It is then shown that tidal energy and storage can provide year-round continuous and constant power output, i.e. baseload generation. Therefore, we conclude that tidal energy can provide positive contributions and complement other renewable energy sources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121990
Issue numberPart A
Early online date6 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Tidal energy
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Grid integration
  • Energy Storage


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