Environment

Huge world-first man-made tidal lagoon could power over 155,000 homes

Huge world-first man-made tida...
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon
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Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon
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Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon
The lagoon would be used for a variety of activities other than energy generation
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The lagoon would be used for a variety of activities other than energy generation
A visitor center would provide a place to learn about tidal power and the construction of the lagoon
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A visitor center would provide a place to learn about tidal power and the construction of the lagoon

Energy trade association RenewableUK calls the UK "the undisputed global leader in marine energy." If plans for a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay go ahead, that claim will be reinforced. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon and could power over 155,000 homes.

Renewable energy is, of course, an area of huge importance and growth. A 2011 study by researchers at University of California-Davis and Stanford University suggests that the world could be powered completely by clean energy within 20-40 years.

Of the renewable options available, tidal is particularly intriguing. Renewable UK says wave and tidal energy could produce around 20 percent of the UK’s current electricity needs, and that the ongoing reduction in its technology costs will make it increasingly viable from a commercial perspective.

The lagoon would be used for a variety of activities other than energy generation
The lagoon would be used for a variety of activities other than energy generation

Swansea Bay has a high tidal range of up to 10.5 m (34 ft), making it an ideal location for tidal power generation. The proposal would see a 9.5 km (6 mi) lagoon wall constructed, halfway round which would be a 550 m (1,804 ft) turbine housing. The turbine housing would provide a means of allowing water to flow in and out of the lagoon as the tide rises and falls. Up to 26 turbines would be contained in the housing and would be driven with the flow of water in and out of the lagoon.

The Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) development group says the lagoon would provide an energy production capacity of 320 MW and would provide sustainable and predictable electricity for 120 years of operation. In addition to generating electricity, the lagoon would provide opportunities for arts, culture, education, recreation and conservation activities.

A visitor center would provide a place to learn about tidal power and the construction of the lagoon
A visitor center would provide a place to learn about tidal power and the construction of the lagoon

Naturally, watersports such as sailing and rowing would be possible in the lagoon, along with cycling and running around the lagoon wall itself. A visitor center will provide a place to learn about tidal power and the construction of the lagoon, whilst a community marine farm would be created in the shallows of the lagoon. It is thought that the lagoon would also help to stimulate local regeneration and the creation of jobs.

The lagoon has been accepted for consideration as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. Planning and marine license decisions are expected in early 2015.

The video below provides an introduction to the project.

Source: Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay

29 comments
BT
I wonder when they'll come to the realization that these motive mean are just a mean to the ends of electric induction. Surely there are wiser methods of freeing up electrons than magnetic force through motion. I mean, at the nano scale where minute forces are near constant or simply some form of catalyst to free the electrons without motion.. Essentially one is freeing up electrons from the surrounding air, are there no reprocussions to such a syphoning? I just see the motive method so last century.. I'm not gonna throw out answers, but the least I can do is provide questions.
Slowburn
It looks like it should work but it is going to change the beach and near shore environment.
Slowburn
@ BT Provide a theory on how to do it or you are just spouting nonsense.
ivan4
The one thing they all conveniently forget to tell you is that they need a standby power station ready to roll if a constant power output is needed. The tide has two slack periods a day, periods when no electricity can be generated because the water is almost stationary. In fact if you plot the generated output of such schemes you get a square wave like form - from nothing, then a rise which falls back to nothing repeated twice a day. Absolutely no good for base load, in fact not much good for any real load without the power station backup.
Shohreh
> Huge world-first man-made tidal lagoon could power over 155,000 homes Financially, how would that solution work as compared to a nuclear power plant? Also, will it be able to provide the same amount of energy 24/7, and if not, what's the backup plan (which, obviously, can't be a fossil-fueled power plant)? > A 2011 study by researchers at University of California-Davis and Stanford University suggests that the world could be powered completely by clean energy within 20-40 years. I guess "energy" here means "electricity": How likely will we have electric trucks, cargo ships and airliners in 20-40 years?
Jerry Reyes
Harnessing tidal forces, will affect the rate the moon's orbit, right?
Derek Howe
It looks nice and all, but like people have pointed out, it's only effective at certain times, and other times it sits idle. Id' be a little more in favor of it if they revealed some new fangled battery tech that could store the power so it could be used in a controlled manner at peak load times. Where I live (South Dakota) 65% of our electricity is from renewables.
Wesley Dart
Assuming that you can control the release of water from the lagoon doesn't this mean that you could avoid a 'slack period'. It would work like any other hydro electric project where the volume of water in the lagoon is effectively a store of energy. If you had a smaller pond/lagoon that you didn't fill initially, but filled during the slack period. After the tide started to move again you could allow both ponds to drain. Am I missing something (apart from a cost benefit analysis)? Presumably yes.
JPAR
I suggest you all read this: http://www.cebr.com/reports/tidal_lagoons-2/ Its one of 6 planned tidal lagoons for the UK, which will produce energy at a similar cost to new nuclear power plants, and a lot cheaper than the daft windmills they have stuck all around our coast. If all 6 come into operation it would supply approx 8% of the UKs annual electricity needs. and more info from a detailed report: "Of course a tidal lagoon does not generate electricity ‘baseload’, and other capacity will be required to provide electricity when the tide is turning. However the requirement for this will be known in advance and so its provision can be planned and optimised in advance. Because high and low tides occur at different times around the coastline, then a portfolio of appropriately - sited tidal lagoons would have a much smoother generation profile than a single lagoon, thus reducing the requirement for generation from other sources."
Dziks
Ocean is huge and reliable source of energy so I am happy that people start to see it. I am working in energy business and believe me producing and distributing energy is enormous effort. Anyway, keep a good work. We need renewable power sources. Today turbogenerators operates at 99% efficiency but turbines that e.g. gas or steam have only 40%. In my understanding if we run turbine with tidal force we get close to this 99% in contrary to gas or coal power plants with only max of 65%.