Waves, Tides vs.Wind Power

That is a question that comes up a lot. It’s also something I’ve spent a lot of time investigating.

I even went down the Bay of Fundy, in New Brunswick, Canada to watch as it appeared that the “river” between the Bay and the ocean changed direction with the tides. That was at the turn of the millennium before wind power started becoming economically viable. Very compelling.  

As soon as I got back to Colorado, I called my friends at NREL and asked what they thought of the idea. My friend, Terry Penney, who’d been there since it was still SERI, was kind and shared the long list of the different wave and tidal options they had looked at.  Sadly, my “moon power” excitement got shredded.

I was sure we would be able to add “Moon” power to the renewable energy options.

If it’s immersed in seawater it won’t be long till it looks like this.  

Here’s why. “The combination of moisture, oxygen, and salt, especially sodium chloride, damages metal worse than rust does. This combination corrodes, or eats away at, the metal, weakening it and causing it to fall apart. Saltwater corrodes metal five times faster than fresh water does and the salty, humid ocean air causes the metal to corrode 10 times faster than air with normal humidity. Bacteria in ocean water also consumes iron and their excretions turn to rust.”


Although the wind is powerful, it’s not corrosive.

Sadly, it is becoming corrosive in the urban areas, but far out in the countrysides, it’s not. And, let me distinguish between corrosive and abrasive
In places where the wind is laden with dust and sand, wind turbines have not fared well, but there’s no shortage of dust free locations.

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