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As we know, Maine is blessed (or cursed) with large differential between high and low tides. As waters recede, tidal pools are left for exploration, beaches become wider, and untapped energy goes uncaptured.
Should Maine work to reap the electrical generating benefits that tides create?
Unlike wind power, tides are utterly predictable. Also, much of the infrastructure for generating it would be unseen, set below the seas surface. Not only would this reduce Maine's dependence on fossil fuels, but construction of tidal water plants would create much needed, good paying jobs in our state.
The NYTimes has an article in today's edition about a pilot project in the East River, detailing the potential power production, as well as the difficulties of such projects. The UK and Australia are also robustly pursuing tidal energy projects (I have not been able to find a link, but Australia has also developed a worm screw turbine, which has almost zero impact on sea life).
With Congress funding pork barrel projects like Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) Bridge to Nowhere, benefiting a small number of people at an extremely high cost, we should make it known to our own Congressional delegation that we favor development of a renewable energy source that takes advantage of one of our state's unique attributes. Perhaps the planned Ocean Energy Institute in Rockland will lead the way. Dirigo!
Originally posted to Dirigo Blue on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 07:11 AM PDT.