Research project

HEIF 2023/24 Synergy of tidal power and flood alleviation in UK estuaries

Project overview

Marine renewable energy (MRE) has the potential to be a strategic part of the UK’s approach to decarbonisation and energy security challenges, but engineering solutions to the high cost of energy are still needed. Many of the UK’s estuaries have significant tidal range and flow rates and therefore appreciable tidal power potential, but are also at risk of coastal flooding, exacerbated by climate induced sea level rise.
The focus of this project is on the potential synergy between tidal power generation in estuaries (through arrays of turbines or barrages) and flooding prevention through surge barriers, such as has been recently proposed at the ‘Centre Port’ in East Anglia. These would have many potential impacts – which could be positive or negative – on ecosystems, amenity value, transportation and other estuary users. This project will seek to understand such synergy, the potential for renewable energy power, environmental impacts coupled with engaging on requirements with Local Authorities (LA) and other estuary stakeholders.


Lead researcher

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj

Professor of Sustainable Energy

Research interests

  • Renewable Energy (Solar photovoltaics, Marine energy, Wind energy)
  • Low carbon cities and infrastructure
  • Energy for Development
Connect with AbuBakr
Other researchers

Dr Luke Blunden

Senior Research Fellow
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Dr Hachem Kassem


Research interests

  • Nearshore hydrodynamics and coastal sediment dynamics
  • Coastal and ocean engineering and flow-structure-seabed-biota interactions
  • Adaptive, nature-inclusive solutions to climate-mediated geohazards, including flooding, erosion and habitat degradation
Connect with Hachem

Dr Luke Myers PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Tidal turbines
  • Micro -renewables
  • Experimental testing and field work
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs