Energy Showdown: Windfarm vs. Oil Spill

Fast Company magazine has an interesting infographic pitting the recently approved Nantucket Offshore Windfarm vs. the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. According to their calculations, even the long term positive impacts of the renewal wind energy project is no match for it’s slick competitor.

Weird Fishes: Deep Sea Robots

YouTube – Robot Fish

Okay, why exactly do we need $30,000 robotic fish? Fast Company tells us:

It’s a classic example of biomimicry. Fish, and dolphins and sharks, have evolved to the point where their swimming efficiency is extraordinarily high. It’s a vital technique to conserve precious energy reserves in a harsh eco-system, of course, and it puts most human-designed underwater propulsion systems to shame. Hence the interest in developing robot fish, hat can have a higher battery lifespan as a result.

The five-foot long fish in the SHOAL scheme will operate autonomously, swimming at will around selected areas of the ocean, only returning to their base stations every eight hours when they need a charge. They’re going to be equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite that will monitor for ship-and-shore-based chemical spills and oil contamination of the surface and deeper waters off the town of Gijón in Asturias. Their data logs are downloaded wirelessly as they charge, and collated to form a picture of when and where pollution was sourced.

Okay, but I prefer their cool cousins in this video made by Tobias Stretch for the the Aniboom Animation Contest For Radiohead’s In Rainbows.

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9 Marine Energy Projects That Could Save The Planet

Fast Company has an interesting slide show with a grand title: 9 Marine Energy Projects That Could Save The Planet. From Fast Company:

Marine energy has taken a back seat to its more well-developed and well-funded rival, wind. That’s about to change. Water has several advantages over wind power: marine current turbines (essentially underwater windmills) tend to be smaller and less costly to produce than their terra firma brethren, and wave energy and tidal flows can be predicted with much greater accuracy than wind speeds. The power contained in accessible coastal currents is estimated at about 4,000 TW, or about a quarter of the electricity demand of the entire world. Some recent developments have been especially encouraging. The first 5 projects here have been shortlisted as candidates for the Severn River between England and Wales.

Hope they’re right!

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