A group at Georgia Tech University has created a database-driven mapping tool aimed at illustrating the tidal power potential around the coastlines of the entire United States. The map was validated by the Department of Energy and is now available to all.
There aren't yet any major tidal power installations in the United States, but according to the DOE, the map indicates strong potential in both the Northeast and the Northwest. Some related projects do exist, such as turbines under the East River in New York City. Atlantis Resources Corporation, which makes a double-turbine type of tidal power device, has several projects under development around the world, including in India.
And as with any type of energy, assessing tidal power's practical generation potential is the first step. Though some reports have suggested a global capacity of 90 gigawatts and a U.S. potential equaling 15 percent of total electricity requirements, assessments on a more local, project-specific level will now be much easier with the Georgia Tech map.
As the team who created it wrote in their documentation, "Tidal energy is one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies in the renewable sector and is set to make a major contribution to carbon-free energy generation."
Image via Georgia Tech/DOE