Tidal energy can be used to generate electricity. It is a renewable energy that is low carbon, clean and reliable. It is an important source of energy as we tackle climate change and meet net zero targets.
How does tidal energy work?
In some coastal areas the form of the land and seabed causes stronger currents creating energy that can be harnesses to generate electricity. The west coast of Anglesey and Holy Island is one of these places, with one of the strongest tidal energy resources in Europe and currents of up to 3.7 m/s or 7 knot.
This is the reason the Crown Estate decided in 2014 to designate a 35 km2 area of seabed off the coast of Holy Island as the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone for tidal energy. This is the area we now know as Morlais. The designation of the demonstration zone was intended to encourage growth and boost the tidal energy sector.
How do we create electricity from tidal stream energy?
Tidal stream energy devices have three parts:
- Tidal energy convertors which use the movement of the water to turn a generator to produce electricity
- An anchor to keep the device in the water
- A base or anchor that holds the device in place
The moving parts or the parts that generate electricity remain under water.
What do tidal energy machines look like?
There are many different types of tidal energy devices. Some are placed completely below the surface of the water while others float on the surface.
The images below are just examples of the type of technology that could be based in Morlais.