Under Water "kites" to Generate Wave Energy
It sounded like science fiction; once upon a time, before the invention of airplanes, humans could only dream about flying. Now, new tidal technology uses "kites" to capture the kinetic energy of waves.
Off the Irish coast, a €2 million pilot project is being tested.
Proponents say that the energy potential and commercial opportunities of wave and tidal power are enormous. This isn't far fetched seeing that 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered in sea water. Of course, not every bit of sea water can be used to generate energy. As with all things in life, there is a list of ideal conditions that must be met before energy can be harnessed from the sea.
The UK Marine Foresight Panel estimates that just 0.1% of available marine energy could supply five times the global demand. A number of companies are now in the race to turn the concept of harnessing wave energy into reality.
For the full article on the details on what various companies are doing to harness wave energy, click here.
Guy Doyle, Chief Energy Economist at engineers Mott MacDonald sounds like a skeptic when he says: “For technologies such as these to be viable in the long-term they have to use few materials, be very robust, be produced cheaply and be easily deployable.”
Really? How much does it cost to build a hydroelectric plant? How much does it cost to built a deep-sea drilling rig to extract crude oil from the earth? Take a look at the conceptual picture of harnessing wave energy below:
Now take a look at a dam that's built to generate hydroelectricity below:
Or the deep-sea drilling oil rig below:
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