UK bets on green energy: World’s first electricity-generating tidal lagoon

Plans to build the world’s first series of tidal lagoons that produce electricity have been revealed in the UK.

Swansea Bay could get its lagoon first but other 5 lagoons, 3 in Wales and one each in Somerset and Cumbria, are also on the planning.

As told by BBC, a £30bn investment will be needed to generate 8% of UK’s total electric consumption. The company behind the project, Tidal Lagoon plc, is aware of the huge investment needed and says that having more lagoons producing energy will decrease the cost in the long term.

_81322744_202fd99f-fc3d-4f8f-a163-292046226826The goal by 2022, is to generate power for 120 years to 155,000 homes in Swansea. For this, huge walls with turbines will be built to create a 8km long lagoon that reaches 3,2km out to the sea.

The project has gathered a lot of attention since it is a 100% predictable source of renewable energy. Power firms like the idea that engineers can tell exactly how much electricity is going to be produced and it is much less risky than building a nuclear plant.

The way this power plant works is by altering the levels of sea water at both sides of the wall. When at high tide, the gates will open to let the water flow to the lagoon, this will move the turbines and produce electricity.

When the water level is the same on both sides of the wall the gates are shut to hold the_81320053_b861c14b-7c44-4058-9417-462d61e99695 water inside. When the tide is low the whole process is repeated, this time the other way around.

The firm in charge of the project has announced that they don’t only seek to create a power plant but they want to transform the surrounding area into a venue for tourism, culture and water sports.

Here a more visual explanation on how these tidal lagoons work:

[Source BBC and Tidal Lagoon project]



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