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Tidal Energy in Australia – Assessing Resource and Feasibility to Australia’s Future Energy Mix

Mapping the country’s tidal energy resource in detail and assessing its economic feasibility and ability to contribute to Australia’s energy needs.

  • $2.49m

    ARENA Funding

  • $5.85m

    Total Project Value

This project will map the country’s tidal energy resource in unprecedented detail and assess its economic feasibility and ability to contribute to Australia’s energy needs. It will aid the emerging tidal energy industry to develop commercial-scale tidal energy projects.

Need

Australia is home to some of the largest tides in the world, and with tidal energy systems considered to have the highest technical maturity in the ocean renewable sector, it has the capacity to make a significant contribution to Australia’s future energy mix. However, knowledge of Australia’s tidal resource, its spatial extent and technical implementation remain insufficient for the tidal energy industry, regulators, policy makers and research community to make any assessment of their risks for investment in potential projects.

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Advancing renewables

    Lead Organisation

    The University of Tasmania

    Start Date

    Jun 2017

    Project Partners

    CSIRO, The University of Queensland

    Location

    Tasmania

    Status

    Current

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Advancing renewables

Lead Organisation

The University of Tasmania

Start Date

Jun 2017

Project Partners

CSIRO, The University of Queensland

Location

Tasmania

Status

Current

Project innovation

This Australian first project consists of three inter-linked components that will deliver:

  • A National Australian high-resolution tidal resource assessment (~500m resolution), feeding into the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (online resource atlas).
  • Focused case studies at two promising locations (the Eastern Bass Strait Islands and another to be determined) for energy extraction, involving field based and high-resolution numerical site assessments, as well as in-situ environmental measurements and observations.
  • Technological and economic feasibility assessment for tidal energy integration to Australia’s electricity infrastructure, including consideration of important issues such as grid integration and competitiveness against existing and new sources of generation, intermittency and farm design.

Involvement from industry partners, OpenHydro (a DCNS company), Protean Wave Energy, MAKO Tidal Turbines and BioPower Systems, will bring valuable real project experience in order to deliver the outcomes. The project will also benefit from collaboration with international researchers from Acadia University, Canada, and Bangor University, UK, both of whom are at the forefront of international developments in tidal energy, who will support the project to gain international exposure.

Benefit

The outcomes of this project will provide considerable benefit to the emerging tidal energy industry, the strategic-level decision makers of the Australian energy sector, and the management of Australian marine resources by helping them to understand the resource, risks and opportunities available, and overcoming current barriers to investment by increasing the competitiveness of tidal energy against other forms of ocean renewables. Detailed case studies for the two sites will be delivered, providing tidal project developers a head start in commissioning their site prior to deployment of their technology.

More information

Contact information

Associate Professor Irene Penesis

+61 3 6324 9770

i.penesis@utas.edu.au