Have you ever heard of tidal power? If you haven’t, here’s the scoop. The word “tidal” comes from the word “tide.” A tide is the constant change in sea level caused by the pull of the sun and the moon on the earth. Some people think it’s a good idea to use this energy from ocean tides to make power. Here are some reasons why tidal power is a good idea:
- Tides occur all the time so this is a renewable resource. It can be used over and over and will never run out.
- It is a very efficient way to change the energy of water into electricity.
- It is more efficient than solar power.
- Using tidal power can save 18 million tons of coal each year.
Since the fossil fuel, coal, will likely run out by the end of the 21st century, tidal power is an alternative source of energy that needs to be developed. In order for this to happen, the energy from the moving water needs to be captured.
To capture the moving water, a dam is usually built across the opening to a tidal basin. Each dam has a sluice. When the sluice is opened, the tide flows into the basin. Then when the sluice is closed, the sea level drops and hydroelectric technologies can be used to create electricity.
Tidal power plants need to be built in coastal areas around the world. Some plants have already been built in places like Norway, Japan, and Hawaii. One problem is that they are very expensive to build, but they’re worth it in the long run.
The largest tidal power facility is located in France. It is called the La Rance station. It creates 240 megawatts of power. At the present time, France is the only country in the world that uses tidal power successfully.
|Global Warming| |Too Much Trash| |Water Pollution & Conservation| |Deforestation| |Electricity & Fossil Fuels| |Solar Energy| |Rainwater Harvesting| |Biofuels| |Tidal Power| |Wind Power| |Water Power|
Arbic, Brian K. "Tide." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. 14 March 2007 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar557440>.
"How Tidal Power Plants Work." About: Inventors. 28 March 2007 <http://inventors.about.com>.
“Tidal Power.” Wikipedia. 14 March 2007. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power>.
Permission to use all of the photographs on this page is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License or pictures are in the public domain from
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> (March, 2007).
Return to top of page