What is Hydrokinetic Power?

Nov 13

You might be asking yourself, W hat is hydrokinetic power? It is similar to hydroelectric power in that it is generated from dams, though it has far less of an impact on the surrounding environment. Hydrokinetic power utilizes flowing water to make energy and many of the devices are best described as underwater windmills. Dams on the other hand are intrusive to the environment and block the flow of water; hydrokinetic devices do not disturb the natural water flow. The future of hydrokinetic power is promising, but still largely untapped and unknown. Ask the average U.S. citizen about the future of hydrokinetic power and they would likely respond, "What is hydrokinetic power?" As mentioned, there are pros and cons of hydrokinetic power. Some of the pros include that it is a renewable energy source, does not emit any greenhouse gases, does not disturb the natural environment as much as hydroelectric dams, and can provide continuous power unlike wind and solar power forms. The best example of current hydrokinetic power technology at work is the six turbines that reside in the depths of New York's East River. The developer said the turbines can create enough electricity to power 8,000 homes. In Portugal, the world's first wave farm is now generating enough electricity to supply power to 1,500 Portuguese homes. Some of the cons are that hydrokinetic devices are not well developed, but that should be resolved with more research and testing. Also, it is not known how much of an environmental impact several turbines would cause and how the materials will hold up under water. So what is hydrokinetic power? It's the "wave" of the future because the future of hydrokinetic energy looks bright.

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