Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Short Answer: Yes

The short answer to your question, Angelica, is yes, underwater, current-driven turbines are possible. What I can't tell you at the moment is the potential scale of this energy. If your civil engineer was using the word "we" in the sense of "Taiwan", then I'd imagine the potential is pretty considerable. If "we" meant "humanity", then we might need to be a bit more modest. Not all of us are island nations, after all.

Frankly, in Taiwan's case I think the real limiting factor on the potential of Taiwan's ocean resources is less technical and more political.

And yes, I ALWAYS want to hyperlink in so-called "real-world" conversations. It's less of a problem, though, since most of the people I talk to read my blog semi-regularly.

Oh, and don't knock those of us with the "giant underwater construction" bug. We're protective of our own.


Kevin said...

Somewhere in the dim reaches of my memory, I think I remember the UK trying tidally-generated hydroelectric and giving up because the salt water rusted the equipment so quick.
I would think underwater current hydroelectric would have the same problem.

kevvyd said...

There has been a fair bit of talk about ocean-bottom turbines here on the east coast to take advantage of the massive tide running in and out of the Bay of Fundy. Salt water is a problem, but it is possible to develop a system that is mostly enclosed, minimizing the problem.

It would be a sin if we didn't take advantage of this, really.