We've harnessed the power of the sun, and of the wind, and of running rivers. Why not the most awe-inspiring, and plentiful on earth -- the oceans?
Anyway, that's the goal of a growing number of entrepreneurs -- "prospectors," to quality wave territory, as the San Francisco Chronicle calls them. The goal is to let waves or tidal action turn electric turbines, as steam does in traditional fossil or nuclear fuel plants, or wind and water do in renewable energy stations.
Prototypes are being tested across the world, according to the Chronicle, from Norway to Australia, with the first commercial project aiming to start turning in Portugal sometime next year.
There are concerns about the effect of turbines spinning on the ocean floor -- and spitting out ocean life in the process. But with the need for renewable sources of energy growing ever more urgent, the technology deserves to be tested.
After all, with more than two thirds of the earth's surface ocean, some have suggested that our little blue planet was misnamed. And some analysts expect we could draw more than 6% of our nation's energy needs from the deep blue sea.
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