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Tidal Power: Energy for the Wave of the Future

Posted by on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

 

Waves and Tides can Generate Power

Image: Free-Slideshow

With water levels on the rise, mankind really needs to start looking at forms of aquatic architecture. If we ever do make the transition, we won’t have much trouble finding the real estate. After all, if it’s space that we’re looking for, the ocean has that in abundance. The tricky thing with aquatic living is that we need resources that currently only exist on land. We need farmland to grow crops, stable homes, and power. While we’re still trying to figure out how to replicate many of these demands on water, powering our theoretical future aquatic homes might not be as difficult as we imagined. In fact, turning to the ocean for power is such a great idea that it is an excellent alternative energy source even in today’s world.

 

Underwater Tidal Power Turbines

Image: Guardian

Tidal power is a pretty simple concept, really. As with virtually other power plant, you need a source of energy to move or spin a turbine, which converts the energy into electricity. Tidal power plants either place turbines under the water where marine currents create constant energy, or they operate on the surface of the water, capitalizing on waves or tidal fluctuation to generate energy.

 

Tidal Power Generators

Image: Agrion

The brilliant thing about tidal power is that it’s all completely sustainable and green. As long as tides and waves continue to toss the ocean, tidal power generators will be able to generate enough power to light entire cities.

The United Kingdom, one of the world leaders in harnessing tidal energy, is continuing to explore tidal power alternatives. Just recently, Greg Barker, the UK’s Climate Change Minister, has announced that they will create the world’s first Marine Energy Park, which is expected to generate as much as 27 gigawatts of power by 2050. These figures are raising a few eyebrows as governments and electricity suppliers are taking note of the remarkable potential of tidal energy. It truly seems as through tidal power may be the solution to much of the world’s energy concerns; some experts even believe that Australia could power the entire country through tidal energy alone.

 

Functioning Tidal Power Plant

Image: Dailymail

More than likely, the steps that countries such as the UK and Australia are taking to develop tidal energy power plants will eventually emerge as the facilitating technology that allows mankind to start living on the ocean. When Waterworld starts to look more like a documentary and less like science fiction, tidal power generators will help us thrive in this new environment.

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