You can’t spend any amount of time by an ocean without noting the power of the coming and going of the tides. But what is the source of this tidal power? Where does the energy to move all that water come from?
The most common ways of attaining a life off the grid is by the use of solar panels, hydropower and wind turbines or even good, old-fashioned wind mills. These items are still expensive to buy and very expensive to have installed. A recent study in the UK estimated that it would take 10 years to recoup the investment of a professional installation of energy-making devices.
Garbage is inexhaustible it seems and a growing concern for municipalities. I grew up on Long Island and back in the forties they use to dump it in a big pile and light a match to it. The resultant stink was quite memorable. Growth of Nassau and Suffolk counties of course led to some deep thinking. There are old sand mines they started to dump in but they stunk too. Several towns tried several types of incinerators which was an improvement lost their licenses due to emissions. Finally they built 2 large plants that used technology developed to destroy chemical weapons to burn the trash and use the heat to make steam to run generators. They charge to unload the trash then turn around and sell the power.
The next frontier is Water Turbines.These are similar to wind turbines and are placed in the water currents. The current spins the turbine to produce electricity. This technology dates back to the Romans. Nova Scotia has a turbine producing 20 MW since 1984. La Rance barrage in Normandy puts out 240 MW and was installed in 1966. In 2007 New York City tried installing turbines in the Hudson river. The current was so strong it was snapping the 20 foot blades. In 2010 using what they have learned a new project is under way to install 30 underwater turbines in the East river between Queens and Roosevelt Island. The completion will be sometime in 2011 if all goes according to schedule.
There’s also power supplier advocate and writer Al Weinrub. He argues that decentralized energy, or putting renewable systems in as many places in a community as possible, generates wealth, spurs economic revitalization and helps adapt to climate change.
When you look at what is happening around the developed world, you see very similar economic issues, mostly tied to debt. Along with Greece, other European countries are also struggling with the real potential of economic calamity.
I know many of us don’t always appreciate it. Sometimes I even hear it cursed. That’s too bad. Sometimes the wind is a bit inconvenient. But also consider that for centuries the wind was used to blow sails on ships to move the ships, people, and freight over the earth. Wind drives windmills that pump water and grind grain. Today, we see windmills moving in the process of generating electricity. Hurrah for the blowing wind.
You can install the solar panel yourself. It is an easy task and it will give you results till the end. Renewable energy resources can help you save at least 5000 dollars in 20 years. Now you might be aware of the benefits of these sources for powering your house.