HARNESSING TIDAL POWER

 

PETER A. GREHAN,

Sir, - Environmentalists at Bali have made eloquent pleas for greater use of wind power in electricity production. For a long time now we have had hydro-electric schemes using rivers and dams, and there are badly publicised proposals for the use of wave power. Nobody yet seems to have considered the tide.

Windmills are visually obtrusive, and therefore subject to objections. The water level in a river depends on the weather, and reservoirs render vast areas of land useless. Wave power in calm weather is almost non-existent.

The tide, however, ebbs and flows constantly, and there must be hundreds of sites along ocean shorelines with narrow straits due to nearby offshore islands. Through these sites there is a constant flow of water, and buildings and machinery there could blend into the local terrain.

If variable wind power can potentially supply 12 per cent electricity demand, surely tidal power could vastly exceed this figure. - Yours, etc.,

PETER A. GREHAN,

Caherdaniel,

Co Kerry.