The Next Generation of Renewable Energy May Be Created Under Water - Environment - GOOD
But renewable energy includes another force of nature: water. Hydropower projects—in other words, dams—account for the majority of the country’s renewable energy generation, but because they’re old and unexciting, they’re squeezed out of accounts of renewable energy’s triumphant climb. Tidal power, though, fits right in with wind and solar: A new Department of Energy report calls it “one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies in the renewable sector,” which means that, like solar, it’s small, but appears to have nearly boundless potential. Together, conventional hydropower, tidal and wave power, and other water-powered resources could provide 15 percent of America’s electricity by 2030, the Department of Energy projects.
Tidal power is just beginning to emerge as a commercially viable source of power. Last week, a federal energy regulation agency granted the first-ever commercial license for a tidal power project, which will have a maximum of 30 turbines working under the surface of New York City’s East River. The agency has also issued 100 preliminary permits to projects in earlier stages.