Tidal energy in the world

The tidal energy is present in the world since decades. From 1950’s the evolution of this source of energy has been slow but constant. The largest tidal power station in the world is located in the west coast of South Korea, in Ansan, and it is called Sihwa Lake. The power station started to operate in 2011 and the total output power is 254MW.


Bay of Fundy, Canada, where the tides can reach 16m high. Picture from Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Before Sihwa Lake construction and during 45 years the Rance tidal power plant in France was the largest in the world, opened in 1967 and still working, remains the largest tidal power station in Europe with an output power of 240 MW. The green energy produced by this power plant is enough to cover 60% of the energetic needs of the Britain region in France according to official information from 2009. The location of Rance tidal power station was decided after studying the low and high tides of Rance river mouth with tides of 10m high.

There are other tidal power stations in the world. Annapolis Royal is the third largest tidal station, and is located in the Bay of Fundy, in the Annapolis River in the state of Nova Scotia, Canada. This power plant has 20MW capacity and opened in 1984. The annual energy generation is 50GWh. The Bay of Fundy is well known for having the highest tides in the world. They can reach 16m high. This makes the bay an excellent location for tidal power plants. Other proposals in Bay of Fundy for new tidal power plants have been withdrawn by several reasons, mainly environmental concerns and an accelerated shoreline erosion problem.

The rest of the tidal power plants in world have considerably less, but they show that it is possible to generate energy using renewable sources. China has the Jiangxia tidal power station in the east coast with an installed power of 3,2MW. Other tidal power plants are in operation in Russia (Kislaya Guba, 1,7MW) and in UK (Strangford Lough SeaGen, 1,2MW) and South Korea (Uldolmok, 1,5MW).