Wind Power Facts versus Wave Power

As the debate on wind power facts versus wave power goes on,
we set out the following brief details.

The UK has the best wave and tidal resources in Europe, an asset that has the potential to provide a considerable proportion of the UK power demand in years to come.

This will run alongside atomic energy plants plus coal and gas fired power stations equipped with low carbon emissions schemes.

Coupled with this new technology is a strong history of innovation that has produced some of the leading marine energy devices in the world today. Can wind power facts outweigh this?

These devices face a number of challenges before they can meet their potential and reach large-scale commercialisation ahead of their global competition, but the rewards will be great.

The UK is an island surrounded by water - obvious. Tides come and go every day as a matter of course, and yet, so far very little has been done to harness this great source of energy. Instead millions of pounds have been invested in wind power, which many say is politically motivated. Can wind power facts outweigh those from the wave power lobby?

Where wind farms are concerned, many do not have the wind power available and are subsequently failing to produce the projected amount of energy. There are substantial hidden costs which are unfortunately being heavily subsidised by the consumer. In addition some people consider them to be a blot on the landscape, noise intrusive and a danger to birds and are seriously provoking argument on whether wind power really lives up to its name. These are wind power facts.

During the recent (December, 2010) and coldest winter for 100 years wind farms generated practically no electricity, raising fresh concerns about whether they could be relied upon to meet the country's energy needs.

Despite high demand for electricity as people shivered at home over Christmas, most of the 3,000 wind turbines around Britain stood still due to lack of wind.

“Under a controversial Government scheme, British consumers pay £1billion a year in their fuel bills to subsidise the drive towards renewable energy “. From Daily Mail - 05/02/2008

"When wind turbines were installed on Romney Marsh (overruling almost unanimous local objection, of course), each one required concrete foundations 116 feet deep. Concrete manufacture is the largest source of industrial carbon dioxide on the planet. According to the chief scientific adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, if onshore wind were to produce just a fifth of the power used per Briton per day – the equivalent of us each driving a fossil-fueled car 25km every day – we would take up 10 per cent of our landmass and double the entire world fleet of wind turbines." From The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, 21/11/2009

These are wind power facts.

From a research point of view it would be interesting to learn the total cost of installing one of the above Romney Marsh turbines plus forecast maintenance for twenty years. Balancing this against the fact that a specimen wind turbine produces the average of 30% 'load factor' of electricity over the next twenty years, would this justify the cost of the turbine?

Perhaps there is a University somewhere in the UK
that could put their brain-power to this project?

Although not yet widely used, tidal power has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Historically, tide mills have been used, both in Europe and on the Atlantic coast of the USA, the earliest occurrences dating from the Middle Ages, or even from Roman times.

The oceans have a tremendous amount of energy and are close to many if not most concentrated populations. Some believe that ocean power will provide a substantial amount of new renewable energy around the world. Why not join in the great debate?

For a definition of Wave Power we go to Wikipedia Wave Power

Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Wave power is a form of renewable energy.

The Scottish Executive announced funding for Scotland’s first wave farm on February 22, 2007. It will be the world's largest, with a capacity of 3 MW generated by four Pelamis machines and a cost of over £4 million. The funding is part of a new £13 million funding package for marine power in Scotland.

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Thanks are given to Wikipedia – the Free Encyclopedia for so clearly explaining the trickier, technical parts of this article.


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