Worldwide, many estuaries have the potential to harness tidal stream energy via the conversion of current velocities into a consumable energy source. However, the effects of future sea level rise on the tidal stream energy resource within different estuary types are largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, 978 idealised hydrodynamic simulations were carried out to first identify estuary types and the location of hotspots within them that are promising for tidal energy exploitation in present-day conditions, and then provide insights into the altered tidal stream energy of different estuary types under various future sea level rise and river inflow scenarios. The results indicate that, under sea level rise, the tidal stream energy of prismatic estuaries reduces more than that of converging estuaries. This implies that estuaries that are currently worth exploiting for tidal power may cease to be in the future due to accelerating sea level rise. Further, as sea level rise may bring about geomorphic adjustments, the spatial energy patterns within an estuary may shift and optimal energy sites may be eliminated or displaced. These climate change effects pose a serious challenge for the management of tidal energy generation in future. In this context, the findings of this study are of practical significance for decision-makers in designing long-term strategies for the development of tidal energy installations in estuaries under rising mean sea levels.