Tidal Waver Energy is still an immature technology with most of the plants built around the world being pilot/demonstration ones.However Tidal Wave Energy holds big potential though it is still a decade away from reaching large commercial scale just like Algae based Biofuel and other forms of Green Technology.Tidal Wave Energy essentially works by converting the energy generated by tidal waves into electricity energy.Tidal Generators are used to convert energy from tidal energy into a more useful form.Here are the following ways Tidal Generators are involved in producing Tidal Power.
A Tidal Barrage or Tidal Power Station works using the same principles that is used in production of the mainstream hydro powered electricity.In this form of Tidal Power,a Barrage is built near the coast where water is collected during the periods of high tides.During low tide the barrage allows the water from the reservoir to move towards the ocean or sea.The potential energy of the water at a higher level is converted to electricity using Turbines.However this form of Tidal Waver Energy requires a large capital investment and takes a long time to build.Gujarat and UK are in the process of building a Tidal Wave Power Station using this form of Technology.However UK seems to have shelved it citing high costs.The biggest plant in the world in France however shows that the costs of electricity generated are extremely low at 1.5c/KwH.
Tidal Wave Energy is much more predictable than wind and solar energy and like these forms of renweble energy does not lead to pollution,global warming and does not require fossil fuels.Tidal Waver Energy however suffers from the fact that it can be only be built in specific areas which have high tides and ability to build barrages.Note DOE estimates that their are only 40 sites in the world which are capable of building tidal barrages to generate tidal power.
Tidal turbines are a newer form of Tidal Wave Technology that are supposed to generate electricity on the same principles like Wind Turbines.Tidal Turbines are arranged in rows underwater where their are favorable wave current.The Tidal Generators then generate electricity when their blades are rotating.This energy is then transported to the mainland using massive cables to be ultimately transport to the main power grid.A number of private companies like Ocean Power Technologies are pioneering this form of Tidal Wave Technology.Note most of the research on this form of Tidal Technology are taking place in Europe with almost 100 private companies involved.
Tidal Wave Energy is still in its baby phase with the technology not developed far enough to make it a real alternative to fossil fuel energy.However like solar and wind power 20-30 years ago,Tidal Wave Energy can still develop to become a major form of alternative energy.There is already a lot of interest in Tidal Power and a number of companies are doing research.However Tidal Energy needs to increase its pace of development otherwise other dominant renewable energy sources may stultify it like geothermal energy.