Several parties can benefit from the development and integration of marine energy technologies in the Dutch energy mix, as they may play a role in bulk power generation, balancing of the grid, and the optimization of generation portfolios, according to certification group DNV.

Marine energy in the Dutch North Sea

DNV has released a paper, commissioned by the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), which provides an overview of the most promising marine energy technologies for the Dutch North Sea and highlights the potential benefits for the Dutch energy systems and the stakeholders involved. In the Netherlands there have been identified a number of suitable locations for tidal stream technologies those are: the Eastern Scheldt Barrier, the drainage shafts of the Afsluitdijk, the Westerschelde, and the Wadden Sea.

30 MW at the Eastern Scheldt Barrier

Utilizing just 25% of the 62 gates at the Eastern Scheldt offers a unique and excellent opportunity for Zeeland to serve more than 30,000 Zeeuwse households providing them with 100% renewable power, generated at the iconic Eastern Scheldt barrier. By installing up to 30 MW of tidal power generating capacity by 2025 we could create renewable power production that provides the comfort of predictability for now and flexibility for the future.

Tocardo OTP, operational since 2015

In September 2015 Tocardo has installed, together with Huisman Equipment B.V., a tidal power plant in one of the gates in the Eastern Scheldt barrier. The system consists of five T-2s tidal turbines supplied and designed by Tocardo which are all installed on a single hydraulic lift frame designed, constructed and supplied by Huisman Equipment. The turbines can be lifted for maintenance or safety reasons. The peak power capacity of the tidal plant is approximately 1.2 MW at 4.0 m/s water speed. Tocardo is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the entire plant, that is currently still in operation and injecting power into the grid.

Viable export product

In addition to using the existing infrastructure for energy generation being a sensible and sustainable solution for local energy production, the project also provides a valuable export product. This project is a leading example of a climate resilient infrastructure and an export product with global value and recognition.

Climate resilient infrastructures

Globally, around 10% of world’s population (a little under half a billion people) lives in the 2% of land that is below 10 meters elevation with much of this population living in Asia. Changing global climate is causing a range of consequences that pose significant threats for coastal zones. To protect these coastal zones significant efforts will be made in the years to come. Integrating power generating solutions with sea defences or flood protection can contribute positively to the cost benefit analysis of this worldwide increasing demand for infrastructure investments.

Utilizing existing infrastructures

Bridges, dams and dikes make ideal locations for deployment of power generating solutions in existing dams, bridges and constructions close to the sea can be retrofitted with turbines to generate renewable energy. In the US and Canada there is a big push to upgrade dams built for purposes such as water management or navigation with a feature they never had before: power generation (CBC News, Some old dams are being given a new power: generating clean electricity, 2021). Also, in Asia such opportunities exist, for example the Saemangeum Seawall in Korea contains 18 discharge sluices each with a width of 27 meters.