Also called ocean power, Marine Energy originates from water movements created by a combination of temperatures, wind, salinity, the rotation of the earth, and the gravitational interaction with the Moon and Sun. Ocean currents such as tides and waves can be used to drive turbines for the production of electricity, which can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Marine Energy Development in the U.S. and in Canada, also in other Countries have projects such as Wave Energy Converters and Tidal Energy turbines in open Coastal areas. These projects are, In Stream turbines in fast moving rivers, Ocean Current turbines in strong currents, and Ocean Thermal Energy converters in deep tropical waters.
As long as there are tides ebbing and flowing and rivers are running, different forms of oceanic energies will be available to us. Our oceans hold promise as being one of the cleanest renewable energy source on the planet.
In Europe and the Atlantic Coast of North America, Tidal Energy as been used since the Middle Ages. Tide Mills were used to mill grain using incoming tide waters contained in large storage ponds, and as the tide went out it turned the waterwheels producing mechanical power to mill the grain.
To-days tidal power is mainly used for Electricity by using Three Methods: Tidal Stream Generator, Tidal Barrage, and Tidal Lagoon.
The Tidal Stream Generator Method uses the energy of the tides to power turbines, similar to Wind turbines that uses the wind to generate electricity. Often used in Straits or Inlets they can be built into the structures of bridges, and the turbines can be horizontal, vertical, open, or duct.
The Barrage Method for generating power uses specialized dams. These Barrages are placed across the full width of a Tidal Inlet to capture the Tidal energy.
Tidal Lagoon is a newer energy design option that takes the potential energy of tides, with the use of circular retaining walls which are imbedded with turbines. Though similar to Tidal Barrages, the created reservoirs location is artificial and does not have a preexisting Ecosystem.
Being completely predictable and practically inexhaustible, Tidal Energy can produce reliable power which can contribute to the world's energy requirements.
Created from solar energy, wave power devices capture the energy of the waves as they move towards the shore, converting it into electricity. This energy can also be used for other useful work such as water desalination, or the pumping of water(in reservoirs). The process of harnessing Wave Energy is still fairly new and is not an easy one, an example is getting equipment in the ocean to work reliably and consistently during severe storms, which can be a challenge. But by doing researches, testings, evaluating, and developing innovative Technologies, these challenges can be overcome.
Natural Resource Canada (nrcan), Marine Energy Technology's Team (MET), support and works closely with Industry, other government departments and academia. They are also addressing Marine Energy Issues and guiding Technologies towards market success.
In the US, The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)'s Water Power Program's research and development (RD) focus on improving, lowering the cost and accelerating the launching of cutting-edge technologies that will produce renewable, environmentally, responsible and cost-effective electricity from water resources.
For more information see alternative global energies
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