Australia Continues Tidal Energy Research with $2.49 Million In Funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced it will provide $2.49 million in funding to attract future investment via a 3-year project that will explore the tidal energy potential in Australia.

ARENA in July said the funding will further a $5.85 million project, “Tidal Energy in Australia: Assessing Resource and Feasibility in Australia’s Future Energy Mix,” being led by the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, in partnership with CSIRO, the University of Queensland and industry partners.

According to a press release, ARENA said the project will create an online atlas mapping tidal energy nationwide to the nearest 500 m. The project will also involve a full feasibility study of two high-potential sites and modelling existing tidal energy devices at these sites.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Ivor Frischknecht, said, “This research will help Australia to better understand tidal energy and help to maximize renewable energy into the market.”

Officials also said this project will address a knowledge gap and provide information tidal energy developers need to deploy their technology in the most energetic tidal sites in Australia.

In April, reported Hydro Tasmania said it welcomed an announcement from Australia’s Prime Minister of his proposal for the utility to work with ARENA on studying how to increase energy output from Tasmania’s existing hydropower system. Arena is also considering an application from Hydro Tasmania to potentially develop 13 new pumped-storage hydropower projects that would support studies into projects that would boost Tasmania’s energy generation.

ARENA said industry partners Open Hydro, Protean Wave Energy, MAKO Tidal Turbines and BioPower Systems will make financial contributions and provide project researchers proprietary information on their tidal energy devices, as well as expertise for device commercial implementation.

The data produced by this research may also be used for a range of other purposes, such as environmental management, shipping, defense, oil and gas exploration and offshore wind and wave energy.

In a December 2016 Perth-based Protean Energy Ltd. announced it received more than $533,000 through the Australian research and development tax incentive program to continue design, development and commercial activities for its Protean wave energy convertor technology.

This article was updated on Aug. 22 at 7 a.m. EDT to correct the month in which ARENA announced the project funding.

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