RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

 

 

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Energy from the Waves and Tides         

The sea covers 70% of the earth's surface.  It stores and circulates energy from the sun in the form of warm water, and indirectly as wave energy generated by the wind.  In addition, gravitational forces of the moon and sun are responsible for the ceaseless ebb and flow of the tides.  All these are potential sources of energy for our own use.

Tidal power is the best developed ocean energy source, with several systems already in operation.  Tidal barrages can be built across bays or estuaries with a high tidal range (more than about 4 meters).  The inflowing high tide is held behind a barrage until the surrounding sea level falls, before being released through turbines to generate electricity.   

Wave power is another source of renewable energy which remains unexploited.  The principle of converting the rocking motion of the waves into electrical energy has been demonstrated by experimental devices, however at the time authorities decided that none of the devices under development were likely to prove economic as electricity generators.  Though the assumptions and cost estimates on which this decision was based were severely criticized and had to be revised, the future of wave power remains unclear.

 

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