Tidal energy is a form of hydropower that converts energy obtained from the tides into electricity. The world’s first large scale tidal energy project began operation in 1966, off the northern coast of France. The world’s largest tidal energy project is the 254 MW Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station in South Korea. Historically, the cost ($/kWh) to generate electricity from tidal energy has been significantly higher than wind or solar energy.
Normandie Hydrolienne has announced plans to build a tidal stream plant that will generate electricity at lower costs than any other tidal energy project. The tidal stream plant will have the capacity to produce 2,000 MW of power and will be located in northern France.
Normandie Hydrolienne is a joint venture between the Normandy Development Agency (AD Normandie) and SIMAC Atlantic Energy. AD Normandie is an agency dedicated to the support of local businesses in terms of development, innovation and internationalization and is headquartered in Colombelles, France. SIMAC Atlantic Energy is a global sustainable energy generation company that is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Tidal energy projects in France have generated electricity at a cost of U.S. 17.08 ¢ per kWh. SIMAC Atlantic Energy believe the 2,000 MW tidal energy project could generate electricity at a cost of U.S. 7.97 ¢ per kWh. The average cost for onshore wind and solar energy in the United States is approximately 5.2 ¢ per kWh.
A successful Normandie Hydrolienne tidal energy project will add another clean, low cost power option to replace fossil fuel. In my opinion, tidal energy could help fossil fuel dependent countries like Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines abandon, expensive fossil fuel imports.