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Tidal power as the basis of energy supply

The global energy supply is still based almost exclusively on fossil fuels and nuclear power. While fossil energy sources are likely to run out and are at least problematic in terms of environmental protection (keyword: greenhouse effect), nuclear energy is fraught with considerable problems with regard to its controllability and disposal.

A sustainable, i.e. unlimitedly available and emission-free energy supply can only be built up on the basis of the so-called renewable energy sources sun, wind and water.

At the same time, solar energy in temperate zones can only be used with considerable subsidies given the current state of technology. The use of wind power is associated with painful interventions in the landscape and owes its expansion, which has been accelerated in recent years, to effective subsidies as well.

Both energy sources have the serious disadvantage of being inherently unpredictable, so that they supply little or no energy in the event of overcast skies or at night, or in the event of a calm or storm. In this case, the energy industry must always maintain reserve power on the basis of conventional energy sources. In this respect, according to the current state of development, sun and wind can only be used to supplement conventional energy sources.

Hydroelectric power can be used as an energy source in river courses or in ocean currents, and there especially in tidal currents.

At present, it is used for energy generation practically exclusively in river courses, and the use of this energy source has actually been declining for decades in terms of the number of plants and kilowatt-hour generation.

The hydroelectric power tied up in ocean currents or tides contains many times more energy potential than river currents. There are estimates that ocean currents could cover the entire world energy demand. Nevertheless, this potential is still almost completely untapped. A comprehensive utilization of this energy source opens up a growth market of quasi-oceanic proportions.

In addition, in contrast to the aforementioned renewable energy sources, the tidal currents, which depend almost exclusively on the orbit of the moon, can be predicted without any problems. The provision of back-up resources is not necessary here; tidal power can be a self-supporting pillar of energy supply.

Tidal energy, unlike solar and wind, is base-load capable as well as accurately predictable, delivering its maximum power over 50% of the day.

First approaches of using the tidal power

In the field of tidal power, there have so far only been individual plants in the style of the 240-megawatt tidal power plant built in 1967 in St. Malo, Brittany, or the Canadian Annapolis Royal project built in 1984, but these have the environmental stigma of obstructing an entire ocean bay.

Nowadays, most of the prototype tidal power plants are equipped with one or more rotors, which kill 10 to 20% of the swimming creatures due to their high rotational speed. In new plants, however, damage to only 0.5% of the swimming creatures is permitted throughout Europe. Furthermore, these rotors are complex and expensive, as these installations have to be adjusted to make the best use of the ebb and flow of the tide.

Atlantisstrom avoids these disadvantages through its novel, patented design.

Tidal power plant in St. Malo/Bretagne