Saturday, March 26, 2011



Tidal energy is produced through the use of tidal energy generators. These large underwater turbines are placed in areas with high tidal movements, and are designed to capture the kinetic motion of the ebbing and surging of ocean tides in order to produce electricity. Tidal power has great potential for future power and electricity generation because of the massive size of the oceans.More info at

Osmotic power plants operate by combining salt water and fresh water. Cost has been one of the major obstacles in taking this type of power to the masses, but they have obviously fixed that problem and the new power station is being watched by all with much anticipation. With well over 10 years of research behind it, this osmotic power plant is literally world changing technology.More info at

While this particular osmotic power plant is more of a prototype than energy source, it will be curious to see how things work. They will use this plant primarily for testing and development of a commercial model, but if all goes well, we can expect to see a power station that will be made for public energy use in just a few years.

The basis of this energy source is the meeting of fresh water with salt water. That being the case, these osmotic power plants can be set up anywhere that there is a runoff into the ocean. Believe it or not, they can actually be built right into industrial buildings if this testing model is found to be successful. The power plants are both noise and pollutant free and are a great alternative to some of the means of power that industry is currently using.

Because much of industry around the world is located on waterfront areas, if this source of power proves to be successful, this becomes a very viable source of energy for industry to use to dramatically cut down on the pollutants that are released into our atmosphere from this business sector. Anyone having driven through an industrial section of town knows how important this would be to creating a much safer breathing environment.

The project itself is headed up by Statkraft, which is the largest renewable energy company in Europe. They have over 10 years research invested in this project and are very excited to have Norway behind them in this venture, the princess in particular. In addition to developing this osmotic power plant, Statkraft is also involved in developing other renewable energy sources such as solar power and marine power.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) site is going to be the place where marine energy farm Aquamarine Power is going to become the first Scottish company to test both wave and tidal technologies. Aquamarine Power has reached an agreement with EMEC to place its tidal stream power device known as Neptune at the test site on the Isle of Eday. Neptune is an Edinburgh-based company.More info at

Neptune has a capacity of 2.4 MW. One of the most powerful tidal stream devises underdevelopment, it is being designed to produce electricity on a commercial scale. It will soon be competing with other energy sources in the UK, according to the company.

Neptune consists of two horizontal axis tidal turbines mounted upon a single monopole to generate energy from incoming and outgoing tides; this electricity will further be supplied to the grid.

Confirming last week’s signing of the contract with EMEC, a spokeswoman for Aquamarine Power said: “We are delighted to have signed a further contract with EMEC. It’s an exciting and important step towards the deployment and testing of our tidal device.”

When Neptune finally arrives at the EMEC site it will join another tidal power producing device from the company, called Oyster, a hydroelectric wave power converter. Preparations for a full-scale testing of Oyster are already underway at the EMEC Billia Croo site. Oyster’s hydroelectric plant will be connected by drilling three pipelines.

The Aquamarine spokeswoman said: “Through the testing of Oyster, we will learn about installation method and seabed connection. We will verify our tank-testing and learn about survivability, reliability and maintainability of the device which will in turn inform the design of future Oyster arrays.

“Oyster has the potential to be more efficient and environmentally friendly than other systems currently under development. A wave farm of just 10 devices powering one onshore hydroelectric plant could provide enough energy to power around 3,000 homes”.


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