As I have mentioned more than once in this magazine, the challenge with many forms of renewable energy technology is the fact that it produces clean electricity intermittantly. Not only are we not able to produce clean electicity from solar and wind all the time, but we are not entirely sure when the power will reduce or stop all together. This means we need other source on the grid for when we need them.
Wind is the most intermittant of sources as there is very little warning that wind speeds are about to drop off. Solar pv is much better. I mean we know when the sun will rise and when it will set with a very high degree of accuracy. Cloud cover, rain and snow are far more unpredictable. What we need are clean energy sources that produce power on a very predictable time table and produce it all the time.
This is the case with the power in ocean tides.
The Oceans Offer Us Free Tidal Energy.
Here is a video that shows a test of a tidal turbine system know as the SeaUrchin. The turbine automatically reverses position as the tides change direction. The designers say that it is also completely safe for marine life.
Such a system could provide clean electicity 24/7 to the mainline via an underwater grid. If in the future boats and ships become electric powered, we could use this system as a docking port for recharging at sea.
So much capability exists for this technology. In your opinion is this a competative way to generate clean electricity?
What are the unforeseen challeges of a huge tidal turbine farm?
Is free tidal energy really free?
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.