Market Snapshot: Canadian tidal power capacity fourth in the world, with potential to add up to 7 000 MW more

Release date: 2016-08-03

Tidal power captures energy from the ebb and flow of tides.Footnote 1 In addition to being a renewable source of energy, tidal is more consistent than intermittent energy sources like wind and solar.

With total capacity of approximately 40 megawatts (MW), Canada ranks fourth in the world in installed tidal power capacity. Leading the way globally is South Korea (511 MW), followed by France (246 MW), and the United Kingdom (139 MW). Canadian capacity is located solely in Nova Scotia and includes projects such as the 20 MW Annapolis Tidal Power Plant and the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) test site projects developed by Minas Tidal, Black Rock Tidal Power, Atlantis Operations Canada, and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture.Footnote 2

Source and Description

Source: Ocean Energy Systems Annual Report 2015, NEB calculations

Description: This bar chart shows total installed capacity of tidal power by country. Globally, South Korea has the most installed capacity at 511 MW, France is second at 246 MW, and the United Kingdom is third at 139 MW. Canada is fourth with 40 MW, followed by Belgium at 20 MW, China at 12 MW, and Sweden at almost 11 MW.

* Tidal power includes installed and consented projects for wave power, tidal current, and tidal range sites. Some of these projects are in the demonstration phase, others are short duration testing programs, and a few are prototypes entering the commercialization phase.

Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy has been identified by the California-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as one of the best potential sites in North America for tidal power generation. In the Minas Passage alone, EPRI estimated potential of nearly 300 MW (enough to power approximately 100 000 homes). Further research at Acadia University now suggests that there is more than 7 000 MW of potential in the Minas Passage, 2 500 MW of which has commercial potential without significant effects on peak tide height.

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