The Pros and Cons of Tidal Energy

Tidal movement where the sea meets the land is caused through a complex relationship by the gravitational pull the moon (and to a small extent the sun) has over the earth. It is because of this exertion of power that sea levels on shore rise (to ‘high tide’) and fall (‘low tide’). This process, the movement of the water rising up and then receding back, happens twice a day and consists of an incredibly enormous movement of the seas. It is a regular cause of disaster at sea, both in causing chaos with ships and boats, and with swimmers, surfers, divers and other enjoyers of the sea, who are unaware of the timing and/or power of the tides movements.

 

As you can imagine, tides contain an incredible amount of energy, the forces at play here are huge, and a lot of potential energy is going to waste, literally washing up on the beach. This energy could be harnessed all over the world. Tidal dams can take advantage of all this energy with high tide pushing through the turbine and turning it, and at low tide the water flowing out which also turns it. To some tidal energy provides a fantastic opportunity, but others are not so enamoured with it.

 

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Classic dam design

 

For proponents of Tidal energy it is seen as a perfectly inexhaustible energy source which must be harnessed. The tides will always be there as the moon will always be there. If either of these things somehow stop the human race won’t be around for much longer afterwords anyways. This process does not produce any of the harmful and poisonous greenhouse gasses that are so problematic for the environment, which makes them a perfect candidate to replace the non renewable and climate hurting energy sources we use now. Tides are predictable, we know their cycles and their patterns, unlike wind, sun and oil reserves.

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Critics say point out that the cost of building a tidal power plant is very high (though the cost of running it is quite low) and that there are not that many locations suited to their construction, and these locations are obviously limited to coastal regions. There is also fear that building tidal energy stations may have detrimental effects on sea life. The key problem currently is that these stations are not commercially viable and more research and development must be undertaken before they will be economically sensical to build.

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Overall this last point may be true for many reasons, developments in technology are happening all the time and now seems like potentially a bad time to build, as the designs and equipment that are used may well be outdated within a year. There is a lot to be said for tidal energy though, and research and development must continue. It could well be that in a few years we can go ahead and have high functioning viable tidal plants opening and starting to supply energy to all at just the time that we need them most.

Arguments Against Establishment Of Wind Farms

Exploiting alternative energy has been said to be one of the best solution we have to combat the negative effects of global warming. Wind energy is one of the sources for alternative, green energy and it continues to be used in different countries all over the world. As a result, it can be difficult to understand why some communities are against wind farms being established close to them while we know it is a viable project. Some arguments seem to hold water while some are as a result of misinformation and misconceptions on what the project entails. Some of the cases against wind farms include;

Interference With The Landscape

A good number of land owners say that they don’t want these wind farms set in their farms or close to them because they mess up the aesthetic of the countryside. The windmills and other constructions on a wind farm are not small projects and they give a total new look to the landscape. It is true that the beauty of nature cannot be sidelined; however the financial and welfare benefits ought to be considered as well.

Nuisance

The noise from the wind turbines can be annoying and irritating to those living near the wind farms. The worst thing is that, it doesn’t stop at some point as the turbines run throughout for substantial energy to be harnessed. The noise can be heard about 550 meters away, although other noises might mask or inhibit it. For those who don’t even enjoy the economic benefits of the project, the situation is even worse for them.

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Dogger Bank: Proposed offshore wind farm 81 miles from the east Yorkshire coast. If completed, will be the largest in the world.

Reduced Land Value

Some people claim that, the land around a wind farms cannot be used for as many purposes. There are claims the authorities won’t allow people to use the land near the wind farms as they wish, for example for fishing, hiking, livestock rearing agriculture and so on. Although they use little land space and they are located far from the access roads, some land owners still believe that one day their options will be limited.

Safety And Health Hazard

Claims that the wind turbines are making people sick have been heard in various regions. This escalated such that phrases like the “wind turbine syndrome” came up. Parents also claim that the wind turbines are a threat to their children who may be lead with their curiosity and go the wind farms where that could get hurt by the turbines. All the same, opposition is expected in almost everything and people’s opinions cannot be brushed off and dismissed as there is some truth in everything.