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Something to “tide” us over until new energy sources are discovered

-August 29, 2013

Energy sources abound on the Earth---sun, vibration, wind, nuclear, fossil fuels. One area not much thought of is the water that covers the majority of our planet and the tide that the moon provides---that’s free, clean power.

Tidal energy generators use the natural ebb and flow via large underwater turbines where there are high tidal movements. This kinetic motion produces electricity.



Image courtesy of Alternative Energy News

 

A Greenpeace video on YouTube shows just how tidal energy works:

Another way to generate power from the tides is the Push Plate



Image courtesy of Alternative Energy News

Here’s how it works


 

Image courtesy of Alternative Energy News

No tidal plants are in the US yet, but the US DOE says that conditions are good for tidal power generation in the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Northeast regions.

Drawbacks are impeding sea life if dam estuaries are used, but tidal turbines seem to be safe environmentally.

It does not cost much to operate tidal power plants, but their construction costs are high, which lengthens payback periods. As a result, the cost per kilowatt-hour of tidal power is not competitive with conventional fossil fuel power.

The technology certainly be improved---do you have any ideas?

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