Tidal power is one type of marine renewable energy, along with power harvested from waves, ocean currents, and temperature and salinity differentials from different water depths. Although tidal power is in its infancy—no commercial systems are in place in the United States—researchers at PNNL are looking at the potential benefits it offers in addition to power production. In certain areas, tidal energy may be able to partially smooth out the peaks and valleys of its own electricity production by aggregating the resources at multiple sites within relatively short distances, a trait that other renewables like wind and solar are unable to achieve. By providing steadier power to the electric grid over time, tidal energy would reduce the volatility of the system compared to other intermittent resources.
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