North Scotland’s tides ‘could power half of Scotland’

Tides off the north coast of Scotland could power half the country according to new research. Engineers at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh looked at how much tidal power […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Tides off the north coast of Scotland could power half the country according to new research.

Engineers at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh looked at how much tidal power could be generated by turbines placed in the Pentland Firth, the strip of water between mainland Scotland and the Orkney islands.

They estimate 1.9 gigawatts (GW) could be available in the region’s tidal currents which are among the fastest in the British Isles.

Engineers say the study is more pinpointed than previous estimates for turbines in the Firth which ranged from 1 to 18 GW.

Researchers calculated that as much as 4.2 GW could be captured but as tidal turbines are not 100% efficient, they reckon 1.9 GW is a more realistic target.

Last September, consent to build the first tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth was dished out to tidal stream firm MeyGen.