In Ireland, the Direct Drive Tidal Turbine (D2T2) project has made a breakthrough in a cutting-edge technology: tidal energy turbines. Tidal currents are a highly dependable source of renewable energy, precisely because they follow the predictable rise and fall of sea tides. Tidal energy turbines are placed on the seabed where the tidal flow is strong. When the turbines turn with the flow, they produce electricity.
This Horizon 2020-funded project is making tidal energy a strong contender to push out fossil fuels. In 2016, the D2T2 project installed the world’s first offshore tidal device in Scotland. Their tidal device is more efficient, reducing the total costs of producing tidal energy by 30%. Moreover, D2T2’s technology is popular among communities because it has no detrimental environmental impact.
“There is a revolution in tidal energy technologies taking place right here in Europe. We are heading into the manufacturing phase including an order for 15 turbines in Canada. I envisage the roll-out of our technology to coastal European countries, South East Asia and Japan happening over the coming decade,” says Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation and D2T2 project coordinator.
Thanks to the project, tidal energy has already become part of the local economic ecosystem in the Shetland Islands, serving as an example for other regions as a dependable source of energy and job creation.