From being like a drop in the ocean, the ocean being the national usage of electricity, tidal energy is set to become much more to the ultimate energy mix of the future. According to a recent Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy and the Assesment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States, the coasts offer a potential 15% input to the national grid by 2030, meaning 1,420 TWh annually out of 4,000 Twh produced.
The assessments represent a first step in the delimitation of a map, which strives to pinpoint the best locations for harnessing ocean energy.
The “hottest” areas have revealed themselves to be Alaska and Hawaii, along with the West coast in general, while the East coast might also have a few spots of interest with strong tides. The map prides itself in being somewhat interactive: you can surf through the areas and with time, through the data accumulated in 30 years of research.
For anyone interested in other water power resource assessments, check out the Energy Department’s Water Power Program website. We guess it’s pretty cool knowing that the tide that you surf on is also providing your home with energy!
[via Energy Gov]