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Understanding tidal energy

Having different types of energy resource out there have given us so much to look into, tidal energy which is a form of the renewable source is created using the movement of tides. This energy replenished because it is obtained from nature before it’s converted into a usable form. Tidal energy can be obtained in oceans, where the intensity of the water from the rise and fall of tides is a form of kinetic energy. its power surrounds gravitational hydropower, whose movement of water is used to rotate a turbine.

Today you’ll get to know the definition, applications, diagram, working, advantages, and disadvantages of tidal energy. you’ll also learn how tidal energy is produced.

tidal energy

Read more: Understanding energy sources

What is tidal energy?

Tidal energy or tidal power is a form of hydropower that is harnessed by converting tide energy into useful forms of power. It relies on the rising and falling of sea levels and tidal energy devices convert the energy gained from tides into electricity. It can also be said to be renewable energy in which tidal action in an ocean is converted to electric power. For clarification, you should understand the term ‘tides’

The alternate rise and fall of the sea levels are caused by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon and the evolvement of the earth. At a particular place, tides usually occur twice on a lunar day. It is known as high tide when the sea level rise and it’s called low tide when the sea level falls. When the earth and moon’s gravitational field are in a straight line, the influences of these two fields become stronger causing millions of gallons of water to flow towards the shore resulting in high tide conditions. Likewise, when the moon and earth’s gravitational field are perpendicular to each other, their influence becomes weak, causing the water to flow away from the shore resulting in a low tide condition.  So,

Tides are long-period waves that occur in an ocean, which are caused by the combined gravitational effects of the sun, the moon, and the rotation of the earth. Gravitational and centrifugal forces are the two forces that rise the tides.

Finally, on the definition of tidal energy, it is a form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into other useful energy (electricity).  Tidal energy is the sun and moon’s influence over the ocean.

Read more: Understanding renewable energy

Applications of tidal energy

Even though tidal energy is not widely used, some specific regions still used the system despite its cost. Below are some applications of tidal energy.

Tidal electricity:

This is one of the most common uses of tidal power or energy. Technology advancement even focuses more on this usage of tidal energy. The electric power generated from the tides is reliable as the tides are predictable compare to other renewable energy like wind and the sun. tidal energy is also uniform in nature.

Grain mills:

In hundred years back, tidal energy is used in grain mills for the mechanical crushing of grains. Here, tidal energy is used to rotate a turbine.

Read more: Understanding windmill energy

Energy storage:

It is used to store energy in a hydroelectric dam, acting as large energy storage. Tidal barrages and reservoirs can be modified to store energy.

Protection of coast during high storms:

Tidal barrages are capable of preventing damages to the coast during high storms. They also help to create easy transport between the two arms of an estuary or a bay.

Diagram of tidal energy:

diagram of tidal energy

Read more: Uses of energy in our daily life

How tidal energy is produced

Just as earlier mentioned, tidal energy is gotten from the rise and fall of tides. Tidal barrages and dams are constructed across a narrow opening to the sea. Water rushes into the dam when the sea level rises which moves the blade of the turbines.  These turbines are attached at the opening of the dam which helps in the generation of electricity.

Watch the video below to learn more on how tidal energy is produced:

Read more: Understanding Non-renewable energy resources

Advantages and disadvantages of tidal energy


Below are the benefits of tidal energy in its various applications.

  • Power output is highly predictable.
  • It gets cheaper and efficient as technology advances.
  • It is environment-friendly.
  • Low operational and maintenance costs.
  • The source of energy is inexhaustible.
  • Protect coastal flooding due to the stability of rock armor.
  • Tidal energy sources can last for decades.

Read more: Forms of energy: kinetic and potential energy

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Despite the good advantages of tidal energy, some limitations still occur. Below are the disadvantages of tidal energy in its various applications.

  • The construction of tidal power plants is currently expensive and requires high capital investment.
  • Maintenance and equipment repairing can be a challenge.
  • Environmental problems like habitat change, particularly with tidal barrages.
  • Limited energy demand as powerful tides can occur 10 hours out of each day.
  • Storage capacity is required.
  • Negative influence on marine life forms.
  • Location limits

Read more: Various types of energy and their examples


Tidal energy or tidal power is a form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into other useful energy (electricity).  Tidal energy is the sun and moon’s influence over the ocean. That is all for this article, where the definition, applications, diagram, working, advantages and disadvantages of tidal energy. you’ve also learned how tidal energy is produced.

I hope you got a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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