Wednesday, 15 November 2006

On the tide

Just been to a IMechE organised lecture on a tidal turbine power solution by TidalStream at Foster Wheeler, just down the road. Basically, they're a start up with personnel experienced in wind energy putting together designs with a view to producing modules placed in deep sea water (over 40 meters) which has particularly high tidal flows.

Seems like a solid idea, using a resource that could provide around 20% of UK demand, as we have favourable geography; Atlantic flowing around to fill/empty the North Sea twice a day.

Variable but highly predictable power generation, about par with off-shore wind power for pricing. Worry of physical impact dangers to medium/large sea life, which weren't mitigated by the speaker. Also, what amount of large debris is there floating about in the seas in these regions that could make such systems untenable (a rouge shipping container lurking about could easily put one of these out of action).

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