Harnessing the Power of the Moon
12 Jun 2007
Lunar Energy, a company based in Yorkshire, is behind new plans to harness the power of the moon to produce energy from the tides.
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Lunar Energy, a UK company, based in Yorkshire, is behind new plans to harness the power of the moon to produce energy from the tides.
Lunar Energy Founder, William Law, says that this cutting edge technology has worldwide implications for the global provision of renewable energy, coming from a source that is both predictable and completely free.
The eight megawatt project, developed jointly with E.ON UK, would be the first commercial scale tidal stream energy plant of its kind anywhere in the world, capable of producing enough power for up to 5,000 homes. Fast-moving currents, created by rising and falling tides, turn an array of large turbines on the sea floor.
William Law believes tidal power is a better bet than wind power and could even compete with fossil fuels on price. Whereas wind power is notoriously un-predictable ñ the changing relationship of the moon and earth never ceases to move the seas.
The huge turbines on the seabed, 23 metres tall and 15 metres across, made by Aberdeen company, Rotech Engineering, will be invisible and out of the way of anything except deep-sea trawls.
The search has now begun for the best location ñ most probably off the west coast of the UK. In theory, thousands more turbines could be installed around the UK coastline and other countries are already interested.
In the meantime, a single megawatt demonstration turbine should be ready for testing in the Orkneys by 2008. A number of different wave/tidal-powered technologies have been tried out in the same area and it will remain to be seen which will be the most successful. The Department of Trade and Industry has now shown its faith in the technology by giving financial support.
Contact: Lunar Energy Ltd, Parkgate House, Hesslewood Country Office Park,
Ferriby Rd, Hessle, East Yorkshire,
HU13 0QF. Tel: +44 (0)1482 648964
Rotec Tidal Turbines
Photo: © Rotech Engineering
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