This paper presents an overview and progress of a recently commenced three year project funded by the Australian Renewable Energy National Agency led by the Australian Maritime College, (University of Tasmania), in partnership with CSIRO and University of Queensland. The project has a strong industry support (OpenHydro Ltd, Atlantis Resources Limited, MAKO Tidal Turbines Ltd, Spiral Energy Corporation Ltd and BioPower Systems Ltd) and aims at assessing the technical and economic feasibility of tidal energy in Australia, based on the best understanding of resource achievable.
The project consists of three interlinked components to support the emerging tidal energy sector. Component 1 will deliver a National Australian high-resolution tidal resource assessment; in Component 2, case studies at two promising locations for energy extraction will be carried out; lastly, Component 3 will deliver technological and economic feasibility assessment for tidal energy integration to Australia’s electricity infrastructure.
The outcomes of this project will provide considerable benefit to the emerging tidal energy industry, the strategic-level decision makers of the Australian energy sector, and the management of Australian marine resources by helping them to understand the resource, risks and opportunities available.