tidal and wave power untapped

Is tidal & wave power untapped energy? Many think that renewable energy from tides or waves would be unlimited, but the route for research has been slow and difficult. Most companies have been at it for nearly 2 decades.

The energy from tides is from natural rise and fall caused by the gravitational interaction between Earth, the sun, and the moon. Tidal currents with sufficient energy for harvesting occur when water passes through a constriction, causing the water to move faster. The benefit is that tides or wave power tend to be consistent, with only lapses during peak high tide or low tide. Explore more at Wikipedia

Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, located in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, is the world’s largest tidal power installation, with a total power output capacity of 254 MW.

  • Europe installed
    • 2.2 MW of tidal stream capacity in 2021, cf 260 kilowatts in 2020.
    • 681 kW of Wave Energy in 2021, up 3x from 2020
  • Globally, 1.38 MW of wave energy in 2021
  • Globally, 3.12 MW of tidal stream capacity.
  • Europe installed 17.4 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2021.

Multiple Reasons for Slow Progress

  1. The ocean or water is corrosive and subject to extremes
  2. Environmental sensitive and subject to stringent EIS
  3. While technology has been around since 1960, still unproven at scale
  4. Bespoke – every site is different so difficult to make one size fit all
  5. Transmission. Most tidal or wave systems are in lower population density areas.

Some Tidal & Wave Power Initiatives

CompanyCountryYear StartedWebsiteLatest News
BomboraAustralia2012Bombara Wave Technology called MWave – air filled cells that drive a turbine. No news since mid 2022
Atlantis ResourcesUK2004Atlantis ResourcesCompleted construction of MeyGen Phase 1a, tidal farm delivering electricity to Scottish homes.
Nova InnovationScotland2011https://novainnovation.com/Secured £12.5 million contract for Nova 500 tidal turbine deployment in Shetland Islands.
SIMEC Atlantis EnergyScotland2018 (merger of Simec Tidal Energy and Atlantis Resources)http://simecatlantis.com/tidal-stream/Exploring large-scale tidal energy projects in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Orbital Marine CorporationScotland2012https://www.orbitalmarine.com/Successfully deployed O2, 2MW floating tidal turbine, generating electricity to Scottish grid.
MinestoAustralia2005https://minesto.com/Secured A$8.7 million grant for Holyhead Deep project, world’s first grid-connected tidal stream array.
Carnegie Wave EnergyAustralia2002https://www.carnegiece.com/Awarded AU$8.4 million funding for CETO 6 wave energy project in Western Australia.
Ocean Renewable CorporationUSA2004https://solutionsforenergy.net/Operating Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project, the first commercial tidal energy project in North America.
Verdant PowerIreland2008https://verdantpower.com/Successfully tested its SR2000 tidal turbine prototype in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.
CorpowerSweden2020Corpower Sweden Corpower Ocean – to build and operate wave farms.
Eco Wave PowerIsrael2011Eco wave PowerOnshore, also microgrids in Thailand
Waveswell (previously Oceanlink & previously
Australia1998Wave SwellWave swell got ARENA funding – King Island
Tidal GenerationUK2011 Tidal GenerationSecured funding for its next-generation DeltaStream tidal turbine prototype.
Blackrock Tidal PowerScotland2012Subsidary of Schottle De. In administraion Developing Blackrock project, a 50MW tidal energy array in Pentland Firth, Scotland.
Created using Gemini AI – instruction
A table on tidal power with ten companies who have test or commercial tidal wave solutions with column 1 company, column 2 country, column 3 year started, column 4 website, and column 5 latest news

USA IRA Funding

The USA in the IRA has provided $35m for tidal and wave (CNBC). The U.S. Department of Energy has $35 million to fund “advanced tidal and river current energy systems”.


New Atlas reported Minestro and their 28-ton, 1.2-megawatt tidal kite which is now exporting power to the grid. They note devices like Orbital’s O2 tidal turbine more or less just sit there in the water harvesting energy from tidal currents. Minesto’s Dragon series are anchored to the sea bed. They fly around like kites, treating the currents like wind.

From New Atlas https://newatlas.com/energy/minesto-tidal-kite/#gallery:3

More Reading

  1. https://newatlas.com/energy/minesto-tidal-kite/