Hydrokinetics: clean electricity generated using marine currents

Hydrokinetics: clean electricity generated using marine currents

Mar 8, 2016  Energy 

Hydrokinetics: clean electricity generated using marine currents
(Photo by: ENGIE)

ENGIE has been involved in the development of marine renewables for many years. These renewable options include hydrokinetics, a highly predictable energy source that offers enormous potential.

Between February 23 and 25 this year, the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) in Edinburgh attracted around 100 exhibitors from 25 countries, and some 200 international experts on this type of energy generation.

Hydrokinetic energy is a clean, renewable source of power that uses the strength of marine currents to generate electricity. This February's ICOE gave many stakeholders the opportunity to get together and discuss the industry's prospects for the future. The potential offered by hydrokinetics in Europe is assessed at around 12 GW; sufficient power to meet the annual electricity demand of 6 million people. The potential installed generating capacity of the global hydrokinetics market is estimated at 90 GW.

Hydrokinetics: a 100% renewable marine energy source

Hydrokinetic energy is generated by subsea tidal turbines driven by the flow of strong marine currents. Tidal turbine technology makes it possible to capture energy on tidal ebb currents and flow currents.

The great advantage of hydrokinetic energy is its inherently perfect predictability, since it relies on particularly strong marine currents whose behavior is fully understood. This, in turn, means that future electricity generation can be accurately predicted and planned for.

Tidal turbines are positioned at depths of more than 35 meters to ensure that they do not present a hazard to shipping. Their fairly slow rate of blade rotation means that they are not a disturbance to marine life either. So this form of energy is not only environmentally friendly, but also transparent to users of the sea.

ENGIE... a leading stakeholder in marine energy

Renewable, clean and limitless, marine energy sources represent a persuasive future alternative for diversifying the energy mix. ENGIE has been involved in hydrokinetics since 2009, and its NEPTHYD project was selected by ADEME in 2014. It plans the construction of a pilot hydrokinetic generating plant in the Alderney Race off the Normandy coast, which has the strongest marine current in Europe: up to 5 m/s. Four tidal turbines with a total generating capacity of 5.6 MW will be commissioned in 2018 and operated for 20 years.

ENGIE is calling on all potential stakeholders to contribute to the emergence of a powerful new French industry that will benefit the economy and local jobs. This pilot project is an essential steppingstone to confirm the technical and financial viability of hydrokinetic energy prior to the development of this technology on a much larger scale.

Image,video ©: ENGIE