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ARENA funds study to map tidal energy potential in Australia

Published 14 July 2017

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has funded $2.49m for the $5.85m project to study tidal energy potential in Australia.

The three year project, Tidal Energy in Australia – Assessing Resource and Feasibility in Australia’s Future Energy Mix, will be conducted by by the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, in partnership with CSIRO, the University of Queensland and industry partners.

The project will provide an online atlas that will map the country's tidal energy resource for 500 metres and will also include the a full feasibility study of two high potential sites.

Besides, it will aimed at modelling of existing tidal energy devices at these sites.

Funds for the project are also provided by OpenHydro, Protean Wave Energy, MAKO Tidal Turbines and BioPower Systems.

The results generated by the study will be used for environmental management, shipping, defence, oil and gas exploration and offshorewind and wave energy.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht stated that the project will contribute to energy requirements of Australia by unlocking the potential of tidal energy.

“This research will help Australia to better understand tidal energy and help to maximise renewable energy into the market. Ocean energy technologies are in their early stages of development.”, Frischknecht added.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Irene Penesis said: “This survey will overcome current barriers to investment in commercialscale tidal farms in Australia.With some of the largest tides in the world, Australia is ideal for this extremely reliable and low carbon form of energy,”

“But potential investors are currently held back by a lack of detailed information on tidal resources that would help them understand the risks and opportunities available. This project will address this knowledge gap and provide the information that developers need to deploy their technology in the most energetic tidal sites in Australia.”