Tidal lagoons could help towards meeting ambitious global and national renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, contributing towards tackling climate change through the displacement of fossil fuel generation. Lagoons have additional benefits over other forms of renewable energy which include: predictability, use of proven technology, long expected life spans (100 years) and the ability to be strategically located to provide a base load supply of continuous energy. Despite these advantages there are no tidal lagoons in the world to date, the key barriers to lagoon development have been cost and environmental concerns. This research shows how to optimise tidal lagoons in terms of the environment, considering the wider socio-economic implications of lagoon developments as multi-use facilities. Through industry engagement, the research provides a snapshot of industry perspectives, allowing presentation of the key environmental impacts and benefits of tidal lagoons. It then uses systematic literature review to investigate transferable solution options from other relevant coastal and marine industries to address these key impacts. Finally, the research demonstrates use of a potential methodology to select and assess solution options which allows for consideration of the wider environmental, socio-economic implications of lagoons. Unlike many other large-scale marine energy projects tidal lagoons have the potential to be multi-use, multi-benefit facilities which are likely to have far reaching environmental, social and economic impacts, both positive and negative. The lagoon sector is in its infancy with recent political debates arising over the ‘value for money’ of lagoons and the cost of developments to both the tax payer and to the environment. Independent research addressing the uncertainty surrounding the environmental impacts of lagoons and considering how to optimise lagoons in terms of the potential value they could provide to society is now more important than ever.
Optimising tidal lagoons: an environmental focus
Title: Optimising tidal lagoons: an environmental focus
July 03, 2019
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Academic Department: Engineering
Publisher: The University of Edinburgh
Elliott, K. (2019). Optimising tidal lagoons: an environmental focus. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.