Electricity from the Tides
Take energy generation, for example. The wind blows freely, but wind power projects are controversial because, critics contend, they’re ugly, they can be dangerous to birds, and they produce energy only when the wind is blowing. The tides, on the other hand, also flow freely, but you don’t see tidal energy installations because they are under water, they don’t pose much of a threat to fish because the propeller blades turn relatively slowly, and they produce energy all the time because the tide never stops.
Those are among the arguments being made by tidal power entrepreneurs. One company, Verdant Power, is getting ready to try a set of tidal turbines in the East River, near Roosevelt Island. Another wants to try a project off Martha’s Vineyard, where the Cape Wind proposal has caused much sturm und drang.
The technology is being labeled experimental. But maybe it can help avert the energy crisis in the Northeast that the Energy Outlook blog thinks is inevitable.