Will Wave and Tidal Forces Catch Up to the Success of Other Alternative Energy Sources?

Published By : 07 Jan 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The tidal and wave energy market has, no doubt, made remarkable progress in the recent past and is anticipated to develop at an astonishing rate over the next four years or so. However, compared to other sources of alternative energy such as solar and wind, this segment lags behind. Where the solar power market is forecast to reach a value of over US$130 bn in four years, the tidal and wave energy market is anticipated to amount to only US$10 bn. 

The potential that wave and tidal forces possess for energy generation is without a doubt enormous. Despite this, there are a number of reasons why this market is still lagging behind. 

For one, the tidal and wave energy segment is comparatively new, which makes it rather difficult to estimate the right costs. Factors such as lifespan of the technology, wave resources, and connection to main power grid have to be taken into consideration while coming up with the cost for different projects. Since this is a relatively new technology, estimating the lifespan becomes a challenge. Moreover, the costs of tidal and wave power are, in comparison to solar and wind energy, extremely high. This has also proved to be detrimental to the growth of the market. 

Another major challenge that the tidal and wave energy segment faces is the complexity of producing electricity through wave power. There are a number of design options such as attenuators and bobbing buoys. Some devices transfer the mechanical energy produced by the tidal waves to the land before converting it into electrical power, and others produce electricity on the spot and transfer this energy to the shore via undersea cables. 

A key obstacle that the tidal and wave energy market is faced with is its unclear impact on sea life and the overall environment. Even though additional research and information is required to ascertain this, one this is apparent that onshore and off-shore wave power farms can hurt the tourism sector.

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