Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Lunar Power for London

This post is dedicated to Knowsie, because we know Knowsie knows.

Two companies are to install Trial Tidal Turbines in the Thames. Thames Tidal Ltd are building a £20,000 jetty to enable installation and act as a viewing platform for anyone who wants to take a closer look. It will be located alongside HQS Wellington on the Victoria Embankment.

If the trial is successful, Thames Tidal hopes to install hundreds of tidal turbines, the largest capable of generating up to 500kw, along the river from Westminster to Margate. A spokesman said that this could happen in the next four to five years depending on planning constraints.

Hales Energy Ltd, like Thames Tidal Ltd has started research into the tidal energy potential of the River Thames, but further down at Greenwich and has applied to the Environment Agency to conduct short trials. Paul Hales said "One of the most important aspects of any tidal turbine operation on the Thames will be the prevention of harm to migratory salmoniods which after all the efforts by the City of London and others to clean the river, are now known to use the river again."


1 comment:

  1. About time too!

    It is a great pity that all the money and resources that have been put into useless wind power schemes wasn't invested in tidal energy in the first place.

    Today, wind energy is producing a mere 15% of possible capacity. Tidal energy would be producing 100%.

    As was demonstrated by the virtual collapse of wind power during the period of maximum demand last December, no amount of wind power generation [1] will result in the closure of conventional power stations. Power stations have to be kept on continuous hot standby, ready to take over the instant that the wind drops. This uses fossil fuels and requires staffing and full levels of maintenance to produce no power but with high overheads.

    Tidal energy, on the other hand, is always available and fully predictable. If we had invested in tidal energy instead, we could, by now, have been generating high levels of genuinely dependable energy which would require no more back up than conventional energy sources.

    This power industry webpage shows a lot of data about all forms of energy generation but, for a simpler view, including historical data, this page is probably better. Although based on the same data, it is the work of an individual - who has done an excellent job, in my opinion - but, unfortunately, does not go back far enough to show data for last winter.

    [1] Current metered capacity is 3402MW, roughly comparable to the output of one coal fired power station. If the amount of wind power plant is increased seven fold, today's actual generated power would roughly equate to the same level as one power station. Even so, no power station could be de-commissioned as a result - in case the wind drops!