Scotland goes big on clean electricity with large-scale tidal energy farm

scotland tidal energy image
MeyGen
The first large-scale tidal energy farm is now operational in Scotland, part of a long-term project aimed at generating enough electricity to power 175,000 homes in the country. The first of the turbines was unveiled in a ceremony last weekend, and will be positioned in the waters off the north coast of Scotland.

The turbine itself weighs in at over 200 tons, and is nearly 50 feet tall with blades equally as large. One turbine can produce up to 1.5 megawatts of power, and when the project is completed, 269 of these behemoths will harness the power of the waves to produce nearly 400 megawatts of power.

Officials say the tidal energy farm won’t reach full capacity until the early 2020s, and much more investment is needed. To give an idea of the high cost of the project, just the first four turbines alone cost a staggering $30 million to build.  That would suggest that the total cost will be over $2 billion, not taking into account future inflation.

Scottish officials and clean energy lobbyists are hailing the launch as a significant moment in the renewable energy sector. They also hope the milestone will spur the U.K. Government to clear up questions surrounding its subsidy program for clean energy projects.

The U.K. Government slashed available subsidies twice, once last December when it claimed that money was being “over-allocated” to clean energy projects, and again unexpectedly in August following the country’s “Brexit” vote. Until government officials provide more clarity on their commitment to clean energy, there still are questions as to whether the Scottish tidal energy project will reach its full potential.

The country could be missing out if it doesn’t follow through, as Scotland lies in a perfect spot for both wind and tidal power. The frequent gales that pass through the British Isles — especially in the winter months — create a good deal of wind and wave action, essential if you’re trying to use it for power generation. Some clean energy experts say Scotland has as much as a quarter of the EU’s potential wind and tidal energy.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.