Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet’s surface – that’s a lot of water! Now, you probably already know that the ocean is more than just a home for fish and other sea creatures, but did you know that it can be used to generate electricity?
Where does this power come from? Anywhere the ocean moves! Waves, currents and the tides are all potential sources of energy. Not only is it a renewable resource, it is also mostly pollution-free and doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
DID YOU KNOW? Waves are most often caused by wind blowing across the water, while tides are caused by the gravitational force of the sun and the moon!
The Rising of the Tide
One of the ways to capture energy from tides is to use a Tidal Turbine. It’s just like a wind turbine, but underwater. The current of the tide pushes the blades of the turbine and as it rotates, a generator produces energy.
Since we know the times the tides will rise and fall, it’s easy to predict when most of the energy will be generated.
Waves of power
One of the ways to capture energy from waves is to use a Point Absorber. That’s where a special buoy floats on the surface of the water and is connected to a generator. As the waves pass, the buoy goes up and down, causing the generator to produce energy.
A Technology under Construction
Ocean power generation is definitely making waves, but it’s still just the beginning. Right now, the technology is still being developed and tested. In Canada, we have a tidal power plant in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, and Canadian inventors and innovators are working hard to bring other generators to our shores.
Even if we master the technology, there are other factors that will still need to be figured out, like cost as well as the impact to the environment and people. But once those are taken into account, we’re shore that the future of ocean power will be bright!
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