A manmade lagoon could be the future of tidal energy

The UK is at the forefront of renewable energy with plans to launch a new era of tidal energy.
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon: Photo Juice Architects
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Photo: Juice Architects

Tidal energy has been around since 1966, but now the UK is introducing an alternative solution to the standard barrage model with its Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. It is projected that the lagoon will be able to supply tidal-generated power to 155 000 homes over the next 120 years.

Unlike the barrage model, which operates in naturally occurring tidal sources, the tidal lagoon model will be an entirely manmade structure. Despite its artificial construction, the new model is said to be more environmentally friendly than the barrage model and it can be easily adapted to other coastlines. The engineers working on the project believe that the stiller and clearer waters of the lagoon environment will not disrupt the natural ecosystem and may even increase marine animal and plant life.

Aside from being a source of energy, the tidal lagoon also doubles as a sea wall, which can provide protection for coastal communities. At Swansea, the lagoon will also act as a community hotspot with plans for a promenade walkway, aquatic farm, numerous fishing spots and a visitor’s centre. 

Images courtesy Juice Architects.