New research explores how tidal range electricity generation in the United Kingdom can protect estuaries and coastal areas from the effects of sea level rise, according to a press release from Lancaster University.
Researchers behind the paper in Energy claim that tidal range schemes are vital to protect habitats, housing and businesses from a rising sea level estimated to be over one meter within 80 years.
“High tides can be limited to existing levels simply by closing sluices and turbines and existing low tide levels can be maintained by pumping,” said postgraduate researcher David Vandercruyssen.
Their paper follows on from earlier research into a combined tidal range electricity generation and cost model demonstrating the viability of tidal range energy in the U.K. This showed how it is possible to maintain the full tidal range within existing dams or weirs.
“Our studies show that with modern technology and operating procedures, estuarine barrages are the only practical way to protect these vital habitats,” said professor George Aggidis. “Coastal lagoons have also been proposed for several locations around Britain’s coast. Schemes will provide jobs in construction and manufacturing for generations to come as well as opportunities for transport, communication, conservation and recreation. In the long-term they will provide reliable power with reduced costs”.