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I was looking at a recent thread in the marine forum that was discussing the use of producing power from tides.Forum members were calulating the power produced. It was not that much in the uk, which is quite surprising. Would wave generated power fare any better? Say in Hawaii?There was a program on Discovery tv showing wave generators in the UK.What type of power do they produce?
I missed that discussion 
I am not sure that there are any truly commercial systems yet, although there is a bit of a buzz about the the Pelamis machines - and they have recently announced a 10MW scheme off the Western Isles to be developed in 2015.http://www.pelamiswave.com/As the Geezer says, it is a pretty aggressive environment and as with all things I expect there are some unforseen consequences.I am suprised that a discussion about tidal power indicated that it would not generate a great deal - one of the proposals for a tidal barrage across the river Severn suggested it could generate up to 15GW - almost 4 times as much as Drax the biggest coal fired station in the UK. The biggest drawback with tidal power are the potential environmental effects - particularly on migratory birds and many estuarine systems in the UK are designated as Special Protection Areas and/or Ramsar (after the The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance signed in Ramsar) which currently afford them considerable legal protection
I agree. It would probably be a very bad idea to dam the Straits of Gibraltar for more than a few reasons, but isn't there an enormous amount of energy available there? The Mediterranean has hardly any tidal variation, but the Atlantic has a large variation, so there must be a huge flow through the straits, or am I missing something?
Quote from: Geezer on 25/10/2011 23:12:49I agree. It would probably be a very bad idea to dam the Straits of Gibraltar for more than a few reasons, but isn't there an enormous amount of energy available there? The Mediterranean has hardly any tidal variation, but the Atlantic has a large variation, so there must be a huge flow through the straits, or am I missing something? That must be what I saw earlier. No large tides in the Mediterranean.The Tidal Surge traveling from East to West, although I suppose you have to think of both filling and emptying a basin. However, obviously the Mediterranean is not filling and emptying twice a day with the Atlantic tides.
Quote from: Mazurka on 24/10/2011 16:49:39I missed that discussion It's not too late to chime in  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=41578.0;topicseen
I think it a great shame that the Severn barrage has never been built, environmental concerns are all very well but we can't maintain England as a big nature reserve