Making Sense of Water Power Nomenclature

May 19th, 2008 by Eric Lane Leave a reply »

For me at least, the clean technologies are rife with problems of nomenclature and categorization.  I didn’t realize until I read this Green Tech Gazette piece that water power had so many subcategories.  The article sums it up nicely:

Hydropower is generated from dams . . . . Current power is generated from rivers and streams . . . . Tidal power uses the predictable flow of the tides to generate electricity around the ocean shores. And, ocean power . . . involves water turbines that are offshore and a bit farther out to sea than the tidal devices.

In view of these definitions, yesterday’s post should have opened with a reference to “water power” instead of the more limiting “wave power.”  It also probably should have specified that Marine Current Turbines’ technology harnesses tidal power, and Verdant Power’s turbines are designed primarily for current power. 

I’ve also changed my water category heading from “Hydropower” to the broader and more inclusive “Water Power.”


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