Deep Green

I've just come across a wonderfully innovative idea for generating electricity from tidal flow. It is a turbine attached to an underwater kite, and the idea is that by moving through the water ten times faster than the linear speed of the current, it produces many times more energy than an similarly sized static turbine would generate. However I think it is proportional to the square rather than the cube of the velocity. This is the video:

     

Wales has an abundance of tidal flow energy resources, as shown on this map:

     

As it happens, as well as high speed currents, Wales also has particularly good resources in current speeds of 1.5 to 2.5m/s, which are too low for commercially viable static turbines but are apparently perfect for this device. So if it works, it would double the tidal flow electricity we could produce.

Minesto's press release is here. I hope they get whatever permissions and assistance they need to be able to test and develop it at full scale.

This would be helped greatly if we had permission to set our own renewable incentives, such as ROCs. Scotland and the Six Counties are able to do this, which is one reason why tidal energy is more advanced in both those places than it is in Wales. But not having these powers shouldn't stop us from supporting this project; we can't let such a clever idea go to waste.

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3 comments:

Welsh not British said...

Let them test it in our waters but first insist that anything tested is assembled in Wales. Otherwise we could quite easily see the situation where these things do not even set foot on Welsh soil, they are just shipped over and dumped in our sea.

We need the jobs far more than we need the energy.

MH said...

No, we need the energy, Stu. We need to switch from polluting ways of generating electricity to non-polluting ways of generating electricity.

But I agree that it would be good to set a condition that if this does prove to be successful on a commercial scale, the units should be manufactured in Wales.

gruffydd williams said...

Ynni fforddiadwy mae'r mwyafrif eisiau ( canran helaeth o gartrefi Cymru mewn tlodi ynni ) a dylasai'r llywodraeth fod yn gyfrifol am arianur diwidiant er cadw'r gost yn rhesymol i'r defnyddwyr . Wedi dweyd huna y tebygrwyf i'w na cwmnia masnachol ryngwladol caiff y contract ac fel y diwydiant ynni gwynt fe fydd yna feed in tariff enfawr i denu nhw yma a mi fydd y miliynau o bunnoedd yma yn mynd ar bill pob un ohonom

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