Man discovered the use of power and has been utilizing it blindly. Almost everything is dependent on power – our food, transportation, communication, entertainment and the list is endless. We can’t think our lives without power but it is dreadful to know that we are facing power crisis. All the plans to develop and explore will remain unexecuted if the power is not available for it.
As reported by The Daily Mail, a research professor at Portsmouth University in England has claimed to have a solution for the world’s power crisis. Professor Carl Ross has come up with the idea of manmade artificial “power islands.” These power islands will secure the energy from the sun, wind and tides in one place and later can produce power for millions if implemented properly. The process includes creating a series of artificial islands designed to ingather wind, solar and tidal power all in one convenient location.
As far as the environmental issues are concerned, it may be assumed that creating of island may lead to usage of land and may create other pollutants. Ross says that these islands would be floating ones and can be moved as required. Since the islands would be floating, they can be used in two ways – their upper surface will support wind turbines and solar panels while underneath tidal turbines will control the power of ocean currents. These power islands would not only produce power but will be more environmental friendly. There will be no adverse noise effect on the residents which is very common near wind plants or visual problems near solar plants.
Ross is confident that just 200 of these power islands are enough to source the required power for the entire United Kingdom. The plan was published in the Journal of Ocean Technology where Ross states that the units are easy to deploy and the ideal place could be the opening of English Channel off the west coast of Scotland. The published plan also forecasted the reduced carbon footprint that can be expected from the use of islands. It has been calculated approximately 158 million tones of CO₂ can be ceased from being released into the environment during the life span of the island which has been estimated as of 80 years.
But it is wise to see both sides of a coin. So, it is great that the environmental issues, which is the top-most concern of the world, will be taken care of up to an extent, but the islands would come at an extremely high cost. The approximate value of each island has been estimated up to $2.4 billion, which is a sumptuous amount to be considered and that too when U.K. alone requires 200 islands!
In spite of all these discussions regarding the cost, Ross is positive about this research and says that money will be initial investment which would be recovered after just 11 years of use.
Image: www.treehugger.com (courtesy Energy Island)