Text by Joe Battle
Wind turbines undoubtedly help tap a great renewable energy resource, but what about ocean turbines? In a recent CNN article ("Is the ocean Florida's untapped energy source?"), this idea could potentially solve Florida's energy issues.
Florida Atlantic University is researching the benefits, cost, and effects of turbines placed in the Gulf Stream. The most powerful ocean current on Earth, the Gulf is believed capable of producing four to ten gigawatts of power (equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants)—that's enough to power three to seven million homes.
We generally support the development of clean energy, but this idea sounds like it could have disastrous results for the ocean life. Granted, it is only in very early stages and would not be implemented for at least ten years. The Gulf Stream is iconic for its concentrations of fish. How would they handle spinning turbines? Researchers are making sure that the effects of such an idea will not be detrimental to the environment.
- Nat Geo Expeditions