Does tidal power slow earth rotations?

Question: Does tidal power slow earth rotations?

Answer: The naturally occurring tides on Earth slow the Earth’s rotation and tidal power stations would add to this effect so the answer is yes. However, it’s important to note that it has taken around 700 million years for the rotation of the Earth to change from taking 21.9 hours to 24 hours we see today. The additional slowing caused by tidal power stations would be so minimal as to be negligible as the effect would only be noticeable over millions of years and only in a very minor quantity. One calculation determined that a 500MW tidal power station would slow the Earth’s rotation by 1 second after 300 million years. Not exactly something to be concerned about.

Other questions related to tidal energy:

Do you have an energy question?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>