Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Untapped renewable energy in the ocean

One of the greatest untapped energy resources in the world is the motion of the ocean. And while floating wind turbines and wave-powered generators are being explored throughout the world, there still remains one largely untapped power source, the underwater ocean currents. Well researchers at the Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology have developed what they believe is a technology to allow them to use the Gulf Stream currents that could conceivably cover all of Florida’s energy needs.
The idea is to have underwater turbines placed right in the middle of the Gulf Stream current. The turbines are designed to be about 100 feet in diameter. These will be connected to a buoy that holds the electricity generating equipment. The gulf stream carries billions of gallons per minute, so the impact of these turbines would be minimal if negligible to the current itself.

Straight from

Florida's Energy Landscape

Florida's economy and the quality of life of its residents are dependent on a sufficient, affordable, secure, reliable and clean supply of energy now and in the future. Florida is currently facing an energy crisis.
Florida is the nation's fourth most populous state and ranks third nationally in total energy consumption.
Florida's population is over 19 million with nearly 1,000 new residents arriving daily. The state's energy demand is expected to increase by 30% in ten years.
Natural gas, coal and other emission-causing fossil fuels compose more than 81% of Florida's electricity-generating capacity, and all near-term (10 year) expansions will be hydrocarbon based.
During peak demand, Florida's electricity consumption exceeds its generation capability.
Florida is completely reliant on out-of-state fuel sources for electricity generation.
In markets like South Florida's, demand is quickly outpacing capacity and there is no land available to build new power plants.
Florida is reliant on fossil fuel and until alternative energy sources are embraced, its electricity generation will rely almost solely on fossil fuel combustion methods - tying the price of electricity to the cost of fuel. Burning oil, natural gas and coal not only release emissions such as CO2, NOx, SO2 and mercury into the environment, but also heat the local waters. In addition, nearly 20% of Florida's power generation comes from nuclear power plants which generate radioactive waste. For a sustainable and secure future, Florida must pursue a clean energy future and a path of energy independence.

Straight from Florida Atlantic University

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