I do like to learn about things like this:
A new type of tidal turbine which its creators describe as an "underwater kite" has taken a step closer to becoming commercially available.Now, is this feasible, or is it some hippie's pipe dream? Can it be done on a scale large enough to solve some issues with regards to energy demand and the like? Can we look to this and say, alright, fine--we'll stop building coal burning plants now?
"Deep Green," developed by Swedish start-up Minesto, has just secured €2 million ($2.5 million) from investors to fund testing scheduled to start in 2011.
The technology comprises of a turbine attached to a wing and rudder which is tethered to the ocean floor by 100 meters of cable.
Anchoring "Deep Green" and steering the tethered "kite" enables the turbine to capture energy from the tidal currents at ten times the speed of the actual stream velocity, say Minesto.
When operational, the turbine is expected to generate 500 kilowatts of power.
You have to factor in down time, maintenance, and you have to remember that these things are never the panacea that they are often made out to be. A company like this comes along and puts the best face on an issue and then hope for funding, or a way to make money.
Sadly, the only money that exists in the current way we get energy is to burn a fossil fuel, whether it is oil or coal. The infrastructure is the key--there are more ways, and there are massive ways, to convert fossil fuels into electricity because of the plants we have built for decades. Until someone commits to building power plants and facilities, this kind of thing forms a niche, but it doesn't solve much.
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