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Wanna Whine about Wind Turbines? This Company Put Them Underwater

In a world where there are so many people who just whine about wind power because it’s fun to whine — a company, a power broker, and a country put together their collectively separate thinking caps and turned the problem upside down.  Meet the Andritz Hydro Hammerfest’s 1 Megawatt HS1000 Underwater Tidal Turbine, capable of powering 500 homes per single unit:

Right now in Scotland, a power broker called ScottishPower Renewables (which is a part of an even bigger conglomerate, Iberdrola, claiming a portfolio of over 14,000 megawatts of wind power generation) just put in the first one of ten 1 Megawatt units in Orkney, Scotland.  It’s generating power and is doing fine apparently, and between 2013 and 2015, that part of Scotland will have 10 Megawatts of tidal power.  That’s 10 million watts.  10,000,000 watts of completely renewable power.  Way to go, Scotland!

Some info about ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest:

  • Hammerfest Strøm was established in 1997 in Hammerfest in Norway. The company’s main business is development of tidal stream turbines and the installation of tidal power arrays.
  • The subsidiary company Hammerfest Strøm UK established in Glasgow, Scotland is responsible for developing the British and Irish energy markets. Hammerfest Strøm UK also has a joint venture with ScottishPower Renewables.
  • ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola Renovables, the largest wind energy company in the world with an installed capacity of close to 11,000 MW at the end of 2009, and a pipeline of over 57,400 MW. ScottishPower Renewables had over 800 MW of installed capacity at the end of 2009, and a pipeline of 5,115 MW.

Also, a minute+ long piece from BBC News on the actual installation of the first HS1000, which was a pretty crappy day in seaman’s land:

Suck on that, complainers.  This is an awesome solution that will no doubt make some progress while we have to figure out how to appease the whiners who want to favor coal and oil over completely free wind power that is ever-present and never-ending.  Seems like a real waste of time, doesn’t it?  You know, to have to convince people that their vanity is less important than the collective progression of humanity?  Ah, the things I’ll never understand…

Editor’s note:

I’m sure that you’ve heard news out there from people who just don’t wanna see those dreadful wind turbines from the back deck of their house, and those whiners who don’t want wind turbines offshore because they are more expensive than their onshore counterparts.  I’ve also seen a complaint about “interfering with shipping routes.”  COME ON.  How can you make a grand claim like “offshore wind turbines will interfere with offshore shipping routes” without having first completely done every permutation and calculation of such a statement without the understanding that things like shipping routes can be re-arranged?

Maybe it needs to be said out loud:  we’re going to hit peak oil if we haven’t already, we’re going to either run out of coal or poison our atmosphere, and nuclear power is what it is — controlled chaos with no safe way to store the waste.  We’ve had three major nuclear accidents on this planet with respect to nuclear power generation, and each event (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima) have already caused enough destruction for hundreds of years.  If we don’t get a grip on the actual problem and not let the big oil and coal companies continue to bank on future destruction, we will all be gone.  We have all we need, provided here on our planet, for everyone to have free power (and consequently free food, but that’s another post).  All we have to do is make it happen.

Thanks to DVICE, Inhabitat, BBC News, STV, and ScottishPower Renewables!

UK Streets Might Get Mood Lighting

Heyooooo! JimOnLight’s UK correspondent here, coming at you with hot off the press news!

The conversation to dim streetlights during very low traffic levels has been initiated, and it’s causing quite a stir! The Press Association reports:

” Norman Baker, the local transport minister, supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

In a parliamentary written answer he said: “The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK’s Institute of Lighting Professionals.

“It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments.” “

The roads in question are the A roads, the major thoroughfares connecting cities which are not motorways. The Californian side of me would describe A roads as “highways,” while motorways are “freeways.” Kapeesh?

So we like saving the environment, and we like saving money. Why is this such a massive discussion?

Numerous fears including increased crime, automobile accidents, are mixed with financial worries. The conversion would cost a significant sum, and people aren’t sold on MAKIN IT RAIN!

The Telegraph reports:

“…While authorities across the UK are saving £21.5 million per year by turning off nine per cent of lights, the schemes to reduce street lighting cost a total of £106.3 million.

The bill for installing dimming technology or converting lights to part-night operations, which is five times greater than the saving, means some councils will not start seeing the benefits for up to eight years.”

This follows other UK locations, such as the Welsh county of Gwynedd have already experimented in dimming street lights between midnight and 5:30 am. There seems to be much more support of dimming street lights than turning them off. Kirklees and Derbyshire are amongst numerous experiments in turning off street lights, both completely and in selection (1 in 10 seems to be a common cutting ratio). Fears of isolation ensued.

What do you think? Turn ’em all off and make everyone wear headlamps, selective black outs, dimming, ALL OF THE LIGHTS! @ FL or something else?

 

If you found this interesting, I also posted about the delightfully unexpected results of blue street lights in Glasgow as well as Japan here. I’m imagining these cobalt lamps as urban super heros, stopping crime and saving lives! Neato burrito.