Monday, August 22, 2016

Electricity Generation: A reposting from April 2014

In the light of recent revelations on the Muskrat Falls fiasco, I thought this earlier post was worth a second glance. Obviously NALCOR never considered options other than MF...

Electricity Generation

More musings. I haven't got facts and figures this time. I am still convinced that Integral Fast Reactors (I misspelled that in the previous blog) are the way to go. Far safer than current methods, using heavy or light water which rely on pressurized steam, and which leave a residue of fuel cells that need to be kept cool for thousands of years.

This time I want to ask questions about wave and tidal power. With Newfoundland and Labrador's highly indented shoreline, it would seem obvious that such methods should have been explored. While tidal difference on the east coast of the island is not as dramatic as that in the Bay of Fundy, it is sufficient to warrant examination. The type of installation that the French put in place in Dinard shows what can be done, and that site has been producing electricity for 50 years.

In the Bay of Fundy, a dam could not be built, but turbines anchored to the sea bed did produce electricity for a short while, but the tidal flow was so strong, the units were destroyed in short order, and the project abandoned.

Smaller projects on the island's south coast would, I am sure, prover feasible and profitable, especially if built close to the transmission line from Bay d'Espoir. Similar projects could be built on the North Shore of Labrador, providing power for coastal communities. Wave power could also be used in coastal communities.

The feasibility of using wind power has already been discussed and demonstrated, with some interesting solutions proposed to deal with the problem of intermittent supply.

The main problem remains in the heads of politicians. When vanity trumps sanity, no amount of evidence or common sense can prevail.

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