Tidal power utilises the twice daily variation in sea level caused primarily by the gravitational effect of the Moon and, to a lesser extent the Sun on the world's oceans. The Earth's rotation is also a factor in the production of tides. Tidal power is not a new concept and has been used since at least the 11th Century in Britain and France for the milling of grains.

A brief introduction to tidal power

Tidal power is a form of hydroelectricity which produces electric current by harnessing the power of the fluctuating tides. Firstly a barrage is set up and electricity is generated when high tide comes in and water flows through a turbine. When low tide arrives, the water trapped behind the barrage is released back through the turbines. Some tidal power stations can produce 320 MW of electricity.

Unfortunately, todal power stations are very expensive to build and often create electricity when it is not needed. Tidal power stations also have environmental problems when fish swim up these estuaries and are killed by the turbines. The barrage also destroys the habitats of many animals.

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