A race is under way to unlock one of the world’s biggest untapped sources of clean energy—the ocean—with China emerging as an important testing ground. (Wall Street Journal)
Use our resources to better understand tidal energy.
- Look at our MapMaker Interactive displaying use of solar, tidal, and wave energy. Why do you think these diverse energy sources are grouped together?
- Solar, tidal, and wave energy are the smallest proportion of the alternative energy market. According to our media spotlight, less than 1% of all renewable energy comes from these three sources combined.
- Why do you think a Western business news service like the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is interested in China’s tidal energy investments?
- Commercial-scale tidal power requires an enormous economic investment. The WSJ article mentions half a dozen Western companies involved in tidal power technology. (The red and green lozenges display publicly traded companies’ current stock information.) Many of these firms are eager to enter the lucrative Chinese market, including American engineering giant Lockheed Martin.
- Read the Wall Street Journal article and our short encyclopedic entry on tidal energy. What are some elements necessary for a region to establish tidal power facilities?
- large and predictable tidal range (tidal range is the difference between high tide and low tide)
- sophisticated engineering technology (to plan, design, implement, and maintain different tidal power structures suited to a region’s undersea landscape and weather conditions)
- money—tidal energy is still a very expensive source of electricity
- Take a look at our MapMaker Interactive layer on solar, tidal, and wave energy generation. Considering the elements necessary for tidal power facilities, what nations do you think might be good candidates to expand their tidal energy portfolio?
- Look for politically stable, industrialized nations with long coastlines—Australia, China, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, U.S., Canada, Japan, the Koreas, countries in Scandinavia . . .
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