Unconventional Hydro

A Quiet Revolution in (Non-Dam) Hydropower

SeaGen tidal current generator. Strangford Lough, N. Ireland.
SeaGen tidal current generator. Strangford Lough, N. Ireland. flickr.com/snoroma A quiet revolution is underway in the world of hydropower. A suite of emerging technologies holds the promise of a benign form of power generation that, unlike today's big-dam hydro, does not ruin rivers, wipe out wildlife and destroy communities. While the global big-dam industry is desperately trying to put lipstick on a pig and rebrand conventional hydropower as "sustainable," wave, tidal and river free-flow hydro are fast developing into a viable and genuinely green hydro option. The two gree

Snakes, Dragons, Buoys and Bobs: Daily Kos' Ocean Hydro Digest

Pelamis Wave Energy Converter at Agucadoura, Portugal
Pelamis Wave Energy Converter at Agucadoura, Portugal S. Portland / flickr.com Renewable energy blogger Unergy has a recent diary posting on Daily Kos with a list of 20 emerging ocean hydropower technologies. Presumably many of these technologies will never emerge from the prototype stage, but given the clean energy imperative it's likely some of these inventions - or something similar - will become common features of our coastlines in the future. The Pelamis "sea snake" technology is now in commerical operation. The Guardian covered the installation of the first Pelami

Biomimicry Inspires New Hydro Technology

SeaGen tidal current generator. Portaferry, Co. Down.
A slew of emerging technologies are redefining the concept of "hydropower." For almost a century, hydro has been synonymous with river-killing dams. But now a range of "hydrokinetic" technologies that convert into electricity the kinetic energy of flowing water - rather than the potential energy in falling water - offer the hope that in future "sustainable hydro" could offer more than big hydro industry greenwashing. The US National Hydropower Association has recently expanded its remit beyond the promotion of traditional dam-based hydro. It now defines hydro

Tide Turns on Unconventional Hydropower

Saturday, September 15, 2007
From September 2007 World Rivers Review Dam-free Hydro Taps Power of Waves, Tides, Water PipesThe sea heaves up, hangs loaded o'er the land, Breaks there, and buries its tumultuous strength. Robert Browning, Luria The world's hydropower is now mostly produced by big, destructive dams. But new technological advances bring promise for a new wave of hydropower projects that leave rivers intact, flood no land, and produce energy around the clock. Tapping the nearly limitless power of the waves, tides, rivers, and constructed water-supply systems has the potential to supply much of the world's pow
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