Pollution-free solution to our energy needs?

I’ve often wondered what’s been happening with the idea of harnessing the powerful, predictable movement of the oceans’ tides to create electricity.

It seems obvious, but then you’d have to look at how to actually do it, and how to keep it all maintained and functioning. Machinery below the waterline is subject to everything from electrolysis to corrosion to barnacles. Just keeping a boat hull working decently requires a lot of maintenance. What about a giant generator?

Well it looks like somebody’s figuring it out. And to maintain this thing, you bring it up the surface, clean it off, and then lower it back down. At least that’s what seems to be happening in this video.

Sure hope this works! It could be part of the solution to global warming.

(Thanks, Eric!)

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3 Comments

  1. There is no free lunch. Harnessing tidal power will inevitably provide a further example of this fact. Negative impacts might include: hampered fish migration, hampered sea mammal migration, disruptions on feeding grounds, and so forth. Further, it is unlikely that energy companies will be content to collect this energy solely from passive tidal flows. Anticipate channels being dug to redirect and increase water flow. As those channels are dug out and maintained, expect further environmental degradation to ensue. The only long-term solution is to begin the hard work of educating people about the need to reduce family size. This planet is severely overpopulated.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree that we need to control population growth. But I also think we need to develop alternative energy sources. And curb consumption. And recycle the materials we use. And reforest the planet. And clean up the water. And stop overfishing. All these solutions we’re creating will have to work together to solve a nearly unsolvable problem. At least this one may stop us from spewing greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which are probably going to kill more fish, sea mammals and land species than most other things we seem to doing to our fragile spaceship Earth.

      1. We agree that all the things you mention are important. The problem is, the root cause of many of these things (overfishing pollution, deforestation, greenhouse gases, loss of biodiversity, etc.) are the result of overpopulation. If we don’t address this, everything else will ultimately prove inconsequential. Is proving inconsequential.

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