Young Industry vs. Mature Industry

May 23, 2012

Recently, there has been much interest in North America and Western Europe in clean power generated from ocean waves and tides to help eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels. Tidal energy is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into electricity. Wave power is the energy of the ocean surface waves being captured and converted to electricity. There have been all sorts of interesting designs including floating buoys, floating flaps, floating snakes, propeller-like turbines and several others.  The engineers designing these devices are highly aware of the type of operating environment required to operate these devices.  High pressures, corrosion from salt water, non-polluting, low maintenance, long life, not harmful to aquatic life – this fledgling industry is open to new materials and designs that are “clean” to help generate clean power.  Another industry that also operates in a similar operating environment is the commercial shipping industry. Although the shipping industry has not changed dramatically over the past 60 years, global legislation is forcing ship owners to make the move to clean shipping.  This shift towards new cleaner technologies and socially responsible policies could help shipping companies not only safeguard the planet but also their own future through improved business potential, cost efficiencies and public image.

Craig Carter, Canada

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