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Tidal energy instead of Nuclear energy

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  • Tidal energy instead of Nuclear energy

    I've read somewhere on the internet ( I forgot to bookmark the source) that If that if at least 0.1% of tidal energy is harnessed the world's energy needs are fully sufficed. We have successfully harnessed wind, solar, hydel, nuclear, and thermal energy, but enough effort is not put forth on tidal energy. Nuclear energy clean but can cause huge disasters like the Chernobyl incident. Japan has shut down some of its nuclear reactors when problems were found. We can't stop countries entering into civilian nuclear energy deals as energy is still a prime requirement.

    My question is why not harness the power of tidal energy and build power plants attached to tidal turbines? The problems scientists quote are sea erosion and corrosion. But by building turbines from high strength alloy materials, we can effectively answer both corrosion and saltwater erosion. What are the practical problems in implementing tidal power plants in a big way and your thoughts on the same?

  • #2
    The UK built a test facility in 2003, and there are currently 7 fully operational tidal power generating stations across the world. Admittedly not a lot, but that number should at least double over the next two years.

    There's a few practical issues holding back the technology.
    • Sea water is very corrosive, causing a lot of wear on parts
    • Locations are often remote bringing transmission problems
    • It is very location specific, takes more than just a tide before you can build a station
    • It is non-continuous power, so storage or a back-up grid is still needed
    • Some adverse effects on fish, marine mammals, and birds
    • Stations tend to trap dirt and pollution near the coast
    I think it will be part of an overall energy solution, but as it stands now to reduce dependance on fossil fuels countries need to pursue a diversified strategy including solar, wind power, etc.

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    • #3
      I have read a news item years ago that a German scientist made a demo of the tidal energy system where turbines will be placed near the shore so the tide will make it turn and produce electricity. The German said that our shores, particularly those in the side of the Pacific Ocean are ideal for harnessing the tidal energy for electricity production. I just don't know what happened, never heard of it again.

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      • #4
        I'm actually surprised that they haven't begun to already work out a solution because it is really needed in the coming generations, power is being consumed and nuclear is such a bad source to actually get energy, but because it's not powerful, but because it's dangerous and destructive.

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        • #5
          Tidal is another potential option for renewable energy. But you know what? It got me thinking about the planets energy usage. I think as a whole we use too much electricity. We are a wasteful species that are hell bent on lighting up their entire house just to look good from the streets. Or we light up billboards in hope that you will spend more money on things we don't really need.

          I was looking at solar energy as a viable option and going off the grid. There is a lot of sun here and a 1000 watt system cost about $1000 usd with batteries.

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          • #6
            asbrown pretty much said what I was going to say. The technology is too unstable in its delivery which is why it is a slow moving process. There are too many issues surrounding it for it to become a viable source of energy.
            asbrown likes this.
            Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
            Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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            • asbrown
              asbrown commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm all for energy diversification, we just shouldn't fool ourselves that any one thing is going to be a panacea.

          • #7
            Actually there is an extended study going on,on usage of Thorium over Uranium,because of its abundance across the globe,especially in India.Nuclear power has got its cons,but its a faster means of production and can run for decades together.
            Tidal power is clean and is abundant,but its expansion needs to be researched further.
            It all hinges again on the country's material availability.

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            • #8
              The one thing I have noticed (for a continuous use) is that when using sustainable energy source, you have to use more then one. We are opting to use both solar and wind power for our home. This ensures continuous power availability. Even with a very good battery system to store the energy, there are times when there is no sun or no wind. Your home burns the power and no power is being put in. However, if you have both.... when one is not going the other is.
              Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
              Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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              • #9
                I don't think it is very practical to harness tidal energy even if the issues of corrosion and location could be resolved, the environmental impact could be devastating. Outing large turbines in the sea would likely kill many, many fish and animals that would go to waste, as no one could eat them. It would also possibly alter natural currents, and we have no way is knowing how much impact hay could have.

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                • #10
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                  • #11
                    I think tidal energy is great, but the amount of complications related to it result in authorities being put off by the idea. The amount of dirt and pollution the tidal plants trap may be bad for the local marine wildlife. It isn't continuous and given how remote the locations are, it's difficult bringing all the materials there. Just think of how difficult it is to build an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, transporting all those materials and hoping you can put them up. But that doesn't mean it's impossible and the fact that there are already tidal power stations put up are proof of that. I think that the world will eventually get to a stage where they realize that investing all their money into armies and advertising is not helping their countries and that some money needs to be put into keeping the world powered up and connected, we will eventually see more renewable energy sources becoming the norm.

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                    • #12
                      When I heard that Oregon has officially banned coal fired power by the year 2035, I was a little worried about what new sources of energy may be used. In Shorthorn Ohio coal is the big thing, but pressure is on to switch to nuclear energy. There are currently four nuclear energy plants in Ohio, but those are all up north. Getting the old coal mining territories of the south to change won't be easy. As dangerous as coal has been, no one wants nuclear.

                      I would love to see tidal energy harnessed and used. Honestly, the theory and reasoning is sound. If coal is really getting banned, we can not sit around twiddling our thumbs.

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                      • #13
                        Tidal energy is obviously something that as been looked into, and I'm sure it will be for many more years to come, as we continue to seek out more natural firms of energy.

                        You only have to look how advanced solar and wind energy as become in modern times and I've no reason to believe that tidal energy can't be put to good use also. I might not see it in my lifetime, but I do think that future generations will benefit a lot from the research being done now, and that can only be a step in the right direction.

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                        • #14
                          Tidal energy is certainly an interesting and often forgot about type of power, kind of the same with geothermal.
                          Water is one of the oldest forms of energy generation.
                          Tide mills have been around and used in Europe for a good thousand years!

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