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China and Netherlands join together to develop world’s largest tidal energy project

BRIC-EU deal will look at the potential for new type of Dutch developed tidal technology DTP

The BRIC-US tidal energy project is expected to be the largest in the world

China and Netherlands are working together to develop what is set to be the world’s largest tidal energy scheme using a new type of marine technology. The two countries have signed an agreement to jointly investigate and develop the new form of extraction of tidal energy called Dynamic Tidal Power (DTP).

DTP involves building dams perpendicular to the coast that do not enclose any waters. The dams can run for more than 30km out to sea with enough turbines to generate electricity for 3 million people. The tide runs high and low on either side of the dam simultaneously, switching sides with the tidal cycle. Turbines built into the dam turn as the high tide waters flow through to the low tide side.

Earlier studies have shown that a Dynamic Tidal Power along the coast of China will have 15,000MW of installed capacity gain, which corresponds to the capacity of the largest hydroelectric power in the world.

The Dutch government has a grant available to a consortium of Dutch companies under the name of 'POWER' research into the feasibility of DTP. The consortium consists of Strukton Engineering, ARCADIS Netherlands, Delft University of Technology, Pentair Nijhuis, DNV KEMA, Oranjewoud, IMARES, and H2iD. The project will run to the end of 2014.

CP Buijink, secretary-general of economic affairs, agriculture and innovation, said: "In a DTP project we see the unique combination of Dutch hydraulic engineering and the growing Chinese ambition and knowledge related to renewable energy."

Hans Moll, director at Strukton Engineering and coordinator of the consortium POWER, said: "I am confident that our joint efforts matter will lead DTP in the coming years and that the concept in the next ten years will be fully implemented."

In August 2012, China's National Energy Administration, a group of Chinese leading companies and research compiled with the Dutch consortium POWER for further joint studies. All parties recognise that much research is needed before a Dynamic Power Tidal power plant can be built.

Li Sheng, director general of water resources and hydropower planning and design general institute, said: "Much remains to be done to determine whether DTP is a viable option for China. We hope that a suitable demonstration project is designed in the next one to two years. If the demonstration project proves successful then we have a solid basis for the application of a large-scale DTP central to investigate.”