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Tidal Power: Alternative Renewable Energy

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posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:06 PM
Im a huge fan of NPRs Science Fridays, and as I was listening to it this past Friday, one of the big topics was wave energy. Now I don't mean any fancy type waves - just your good old waves from the big blue ponds.

Here is an interview with two different men in the field - George Taylor, CEO, Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. and Sean O'Neill, president, Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition


If you don't have the time, or for some technical reason can't listen to the interview, I'll do my best to sum it up:

-Wave Energy is much cleaner than fossil fuels. The wave power stations (buoys that transform the mechanical energy of a wave into electrical energy) do not pose an environmental hazard, and it has been found that the underwater portion of the system is being used as an artificial reef by marine wildlife - another huge plus what with our current natural reefs eroding/being polluted.

-Wave energy is more efficient than other alternative energies - though it is not a final solution. O'Neill claims that at best wave energy can reach 50% efficiency, as opposed to solar at 10% and wind at 30-35%. He also stresses however, that for alternative energy to work, it would require all three types, and he even throws in the potential for Biomass (ethanol, corn fuels, etc) to work in tandem to meet the power demands in this nation.

-Wave energy cost just as much, if not slightly less than fossil fuels, without the added pollution or finite resources.

-All of Dr. Taylors power stations have received the highest levels of permits and liscencing for environmental safety and protection. He is even building a wave power platform for the US Navy out in Hawaii.

-Oregon is the largest proponent of wave energy in the states at the moment: Oregons governor proclaims Oregon will be the "Wave Energy capital of the USA"

-UK is the largest proponent of wave power overseas, although Spain is also becoming heavily interested.

These are the more important facts that I could remember off the top of my head. The interview is really great and worth checking out if you have the time, it runs about an hour, and is very informative. I decided to share this with you all because I myself had never really heard of or even considered wave energy before as an alternative power source.

I hope you all find this as interesting as I did! Feel free to ask any question

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