Seventy one percent of our planet is covered by one of the most powerful forces known to us; and we’re having a power crisis. A multitude of major cities are situated on coastlines and in bays thanks to centuries old needs to control shipping ports; and we’re having a power crisis. Tsunamis and hurricanes have devastated countries from impoverished South East Asia to the pinnacle of wasted power, the United States of America; and we’re still having a power crisis.
Thankfully though, cities and scientists the world round are finally beginning to grasp the scope of the crisis, and step up to the plate.
Early June of this year saw the reporting of America’s first Tidal Power installation. Such an installation is eerily similar to that of wind turbines, except situated atop the ocean bed. The relative inconsistency of wind patterns is thus negated, when dealing with the steady currents of the ocean floor. The New York installation, situated in the East River near Roosevelt Island, currently consists of six 35-killowatt turbines; however plans for 100 turbines are anticipated for this location.
San Francisco is also jumping on the hydro-power bandwagon, with a $1.5 million study to determine where the best location for a Tidal Power installation of their own would be. The City of San Francisco and their electrical utility, PG&E, are teaming up to create a station that could provide anywhere up to 400 megawatts of power.
In a different spin, Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro and German engineering firm Siemens are teaming up to create the world’s first floating wind turbine. Planned to be in operation in the North Sea by 2009, a floating wind turbine station would essentially quell all issues that skeptics have with the controversial power generation systems.
Birds migratory routes would not be impacted, they would be away from human eyes, and the obvious benefits of a cut in the use of fossil fuels are all benefits that will make the $33.64 million price tag seem reasonable. And though its implementation is two years behind the original plan, both companies are hoping for a wind farm somewhere in 2013-14 if all funding is acquired.
Could this finally be the swing towards the ‘green’ thinking that is needed to keep humans, and our planet alive? One can only hope so.
Posted by Josh Hill
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