Thursday, February 5, 2009


Whenever politicians and greens talk about alternative energy, the list usually goes wind, solar, and tidal power. But how real is tidal power? Where will it happen and when?

This week on Radio Ecoshock you'll hear Martin Burger, CEO of a tidal power company called Blue Energy. He spoke to the New Energy Movement in Vancouver on January 26th, 2009. This is an original recording by Radio Ecoshock.

In fact, Martin went further. He explained four other neglected new energy sources, the best and most intriguing from a survey of 500 he's examined over the past two decades. I'll add those as time allows.

And, as promised in last week's show, we'll consider how new ways of living appear in a society. Burger says money cannot bring the next wave. It is a problem of consciousness, how we function as big groups, like the flocks and schools of other animals.

Along the way, I'll toss in a few facts about installations around the world, the current state of tidal power.

How about this one. Did you know that days used to be much shorter here on Earth? Like 21.9 hours, just 620 million years ago, instead of 24? Just pumping all that sea water into the bays and narrows of the world uses up mechanical energy that causes the world to spin. The tides are slowing down the planet. The 26 hour day is coming. But don't toss out your clocks just yet - that will be another 600 million years from now.

As we'll hear from Martin Burger, this immense power can be harnessed to create giant streams of electricity. The initial building cost is high, but the long-term maintenance costs are quite low. The impact on the local ecology varies with the design. Martin will be describing a "tidal fence" of spinning rotors, built into a bridge perhaps. It's a big dream, but there are signs tidal power is beginning to lift off in various parts of the world.

I'm going to pick out the tidal info from Martin's speech at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

More at Script Tidal Power.htm

That transcript from the show includes a quick review of tidal power around the world, along with some of their ecological consequences.

Production Notes: there is a 20 second music bed for station ID at 29:30. No copyright music this show.


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