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Alternative Energy Blog's James is WorldChanging

Combining off-shore wind, wave and tidal power creates a potentially huge alternative energy resource.

While wind is now accepted as a mature technology that is economically viable, the others are at the expensive development stage - though between them they could produce more energy than wind.

Off-shore turbines of five megawatts and up are now possible. A 500MW offshore windfarm would produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 300,000 UK households.

If off-shore wind power, wave power and tidal turbine technologies can be harnessed together, it will produce significant economies of scale as the same transmission cables can bring the electricity ashore. This combination of three sources of alternative energy power could potentially supply all of the UK's electricity needs and the same technology used in many other countries.

One of the criticisms of renewable energy is that most sources do not produce significant amounts of electricity. If we are to replace fossil fuels that means thinking in gigawatts and not megawatts (1 gigawatt = 1,000 megawatts).

It is by utilising different technologies and put them to work on a large scale that we can generate significant quantities of "green" electricity.


James from Alternative Energy Blog

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Thank you for posting this! I spent a day at VCU in Richmond, VA sitting down with an engineer who is designing new current turbines for energy production. He is convinced that the oceans will be our primary source of power in the post-carbon world. Anything you can provide on the feasibility of these plans is greatly appreciated!

Posted by: Jennifer Evonne on 4 Oct 04

I would ask that this be taken one step further and store the energy at the generation site by producing Hydrogen. The Hydrogen could then be transported without wires to a much larger number of small electrical generation plants.

I believe such a system might reduce the vulnerability of electric grids while increasing reliability.

Posted by: Henry Mahon on 5 Oct 04



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