The Next Generation of Renewable Energy May Be Created Under Water

By Sarah Laskow, GoodEnvironment:

When reporters, politicians, and environmental advocates talk about renewable energy, they talk about wind and solar. This makes sense: Of the newer generation of renewables, wind is contributing the lion’s share of electricity generation. California’s wind energy association just announced that 5 percent of California’s power now comes from wind farms. Solar plants still provide only a tiny slice of energy, but last year, with prices dropping, the industry was booming.

But renewable energy includes another force of nature: water. Hydropower projects—in other words, dams—account for the majority of the country’s renewable energy generation, but because they’re old and unexciting, they’re squeezed out of accounts of renewable energy’s triumphant climb. Tidal power, though, fits right in with wind and solar:A new Department of Energy report calls it “one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies in the renewable sector,” which means that, like solar, it’s small, but appears to have nearly boundless potential. Together, conventional hydropower, tidal and wave power, and other water-powered resources could provide 15 percent of America’s electricity by 2030, the Department of Energy projects… Read more

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