Tide machines may be major power sources

Jun 01, 2006

The Norwegian firm, Statkraft, has proposed creating underwater tide-harnessing machines to provide up to 3 percent of the European Union's electricity.

The floating machines -- about 130 feet long by 50 feet wide -- use tidal water movements to turn submerged turbines, the EU Observer reported Thursday.

Statkraft estimates the technology eventually could supply up to 100 terawatts of power for the EU, with Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands already interested in the project.

"They are commercially competitive with wind power," the firm's senior advisor, Bjornar Olsen, told reporters. "But unlike wind, tidal movements are constant. The waters only stay still for two to four hours each day."

The low visibility tide machines also have a lesser environmental impact compared with the nearly 400 feet high windmills already in operation in the United Kingdom and Norway, the EU Observer said.

A prototype tide farm is to begin operating later this year near Tromso, Norway, with commercial energy production expected within four to six years, Olsen said.

Statkraft says it is the third largest producer of power in the Nordic region and Europe's second largest producer of power based on renewable energy sources.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Self-cooling solar cells boost power, last longer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

iTunes celebrates a decade, faces new challenges

Apr 24, 2013

When Apple launched its iTunes music store a decade ago amid the ashes of Napster, the music industry—reeling from the effects of online piracy—was anxious to see how the new music service would shake ...

Trying to revive Manila's toxic river heart

Feb 19, 2013

Boys shout in delight as they flip backwards off a bridge. Fishermen quietly cast rods out. They are joyful acts that should belong to an earlier era, before the Philippines' Pasig River turned toxic.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0