The movement of the tides can be used to turn turbines that drive generators to produce low carbon electricity.
The energy for tidal power stations is reliable and renewable, being caused by the movements of the earth, moon and sun.
As the earth spins, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun causes the seas and oceans to ‘bulge’ which in turn creates huge, predictable ebbs and flows of water around the world.
One way to harness the energy of the tides is to use offshore turbines, rather like an underwater wind farm.
The video below, from tidal turbine developer OpenHydro, shows the steps involved manufacturing one of these huge machines and moving it from land to underwater.
video provided courtesy of OpenHydro
What is the future role of tidal power?
There are engineering challenges presented by the harsh conditions of the seas and potential environmental impacts, both positive and negative, which need to be understood.
However tidal energy is a predictable, low-carbon resource that has great potential.