Unless there could be combination solution such as building the tidal turbines with offshore wind the major factor is cost. Because of the early stage of the technology, tidal power is an expensive source of energy: according to a 2019 study, commercial-scale tidal energy is estimated to cost $130-$280 per megawatt-hour, compared to $20 per megawatt-hour for wind. High upfront costs of building plants, expenses associated with maintaining machinery that can survive corrosive seawater, and the pricey engineering work that goes into them make up a significant portion of that cost discrepancy. The supply chain for tidal power also isn’t yet capable of providing necessary components and technologies at scale to make this energy source and, as of now, everything‚Äôs pretty custom. In fact, the market discrepancy between tidal and other, more mature, renewable energy systems is actually growing because the cost of generation from wind and solar generation continues to drop.
Beyond the economic difficulties, the tidal power industry also must overcome technical challenges such as the lack of an established and routine production market and legislative red tape. (One tidal power project set up in New York’s East River required 23 different permits from 14 agencies to operate )
Then there’s the environmental impact, the extent of which isn’t fully understood yet. Depending on the size and design of the system, tidal barrages can kill off flora and fauna, change salinity and sediment levels, and disrupt coastal ecology. Researchers are trying to figure out how to harness tidal currents with much less environmental impact. We’re learning from our mistakes and trying to identify problems and stress mitigation proactively before they occur.

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