Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tidal Power Breakthrough deserves support

The Proteus NP500 Tidal Power Pontoon (artists impression shown above) has achieved an efficiency that is greater than any other tidal power device. Manufacturing costs of the device are minimal, which means that for the first time ever, tidal electricity can be generated at commercially competitive prices.

Experts at the University of Hull have achieved a tidal power breakthrough that could revolutionise renewable energy generation, and is something I wholeheartedly welcome.

The East Riding, with its long length of coastline and tidal rivers could, and perhaps should be at the pioneering edge of tidal power development and this is why I fully support this work being done on Tidal Power by Hull University, but ultimately this concept will need support of Central Government.

Broadly speaking I welcomed the decision by ERYC to sign up to the Nottingham Declaration some months ago. By signing the declaration it showed the Council accepting that climate change is occurring now, and its effects will be far reaching.

The signing of the Declaration may be the first step in the ERYC developing a holistic energy policy, which must include both energy generation and energy conservation as they are now accepted as being inextricably linked. This policy could be innovative and forward looking, and may well ultimately have the consent of the masses.

The declaration includes a commitment to reduce emissions in line with Government targets, to help local residents and businesses reduce energy costs, and encourage all sectors in the local community to take the opportunity to assess, and adapt to reduce their own greenhouse gases.

It is important that there are incentives to actually save energy and as a council we must continue to do this through encouraging energy savings in buildings both new and old, as well as educating people in the simple measures that can save power, such as reducing the amount of appliances left on standby mode and the use of low energy light bulbs.

The issue of renewable energy is about more than just Wind Energy, and that larger picture is what the ERYC signed up to with the Nottingham Declaration. Wind Energy is not a problem free solution and care should be taken in the siting of windfarms, the general opinion seems to be “site wind turbines where the wind is consistent and where the impact on communities is minimal, with offshore windfarms being the favoured option”. There are those who would like to see the county blighted with windfarm after windfarm, whatever the prevailing conditions and the effect on neighbouring communities, all I would say is that there has to be a balance between the benefits and the detrimental impact on the countryside.

For more information on the Hull University Project and/or the Nottingham Declaration visit:


Anonymous said...

Mr Robinson,
May I say I read with interest the other day regarding the Tidal Power pontoon and have to say it would appear to be a fantastic solution to our energy issues. The Yorkshire Post stated in their article that the University of Hull were looking for funding in the region of £800k to get this superb solution working - surely this is what Central Governemnt should be investing in rather than allowing companies to benefit from "Green Subsidies" without the guarantee that their solutions will generate the necessary electricity required.
We in the East Riding currently have enough MW to achieve the 2010 targets from Wind Energy alone, we have to embrace renwables and therefore I urge the Planners to not accept all of the wind applications and put all our eggs in one basket but to embrace development and look to alternatives such as the Proteus Tidal Power Pontoon, even look to solar, biomass and off-shore wind.

Thanks to Mr Paul Robinson for his article and lets not blight the East Riding countryside with Industrialised Turbines.

Anonymous said...

In response to the article by Paul I too agree that the Proteus Pontoon should be supported and so should The University of Hull.

In response to the last comments regarding blighting our countryside I agree - did you see the size of the balloon that was on the SixPenny Wood site at the weekend, it was huge! Obviously that balloon was tiny in comparison to the diameter of the proposed turbines but it did give a representative height, can you imagine what 10 would look like!!!

My plea to the planners is embrace renewables but don't do it at the expense of our countryside - look to alternatives like the Proteus Tidal Pontoon and listen to "local residents".
Many Thanks - A Local resident in fear of industrialisation in the countryside!