Northwest Renewable News

Your Daily Source for Renewable Energy News in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana & Northern California

Editorial: Tidal energy begs for a pilot project November 21, 2008

After eight years of little progress in exploring energy alternatives to fossil fuels, the U.S. may soon begin full-scale research and development of things like tidal and wave-powered electric turbines. Coastal leaders and citizens must have prominent places at the table when these decisions are made.

So what sort of changes might this bring to our shores? An absence of ready answers is at the heart of the problem. So far, making electricity from waves and tides lacks solid information about exactly how such turbines will survive rough maritime conditions and how they will interact with fish, birds and marine mammals.

To begin filling this knowledge vacuum, private and academic researchers are starting to look intently at waters all around us. Reedsport looks likely to host the nation’s first commercial wave-energy park within the next two years. Another small experimental facility is currently under development off the northwest Washington coast. Nationwide, 200 tidal and wave projects already have been or are awaiting preliminary permitting, including many on the West Coast.

Here is the whole editorial:


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