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Cheap energy with river power?

By March 7, 2007Uncategorized

Everyone is up in arms about the high utility bills they’ve been getting for the past few months.  Entergy says the problem is the cost of natural gas.  A few decades ago we tried to get nuclear power rolling, but safety turned out to be a huge concern.  But just because the Atomic Age was a bust doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep pushing the scientific envelope.

What about deploying some of these babies in the Mississippi river?

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  • jarvis smith says:

    grand theft auto

  • Clay says:

    The Mississippi has a very high sediment load near New Orleans. Also, it would mess with the hydraulic gradient and could cause the river to jump to Atchafalaya. These are just two possible problems. It’s worth researched further, though.

    The offshore renewable is an excellent idea. Wired did a great article about it not too long ago.

    They gave up trying it in Louisiana because the politicians put up roadblocks. Typical Louisiana bullshit.

    I’d rather see them expand the capacity of the Waterford Nuclear Plant. That can be done quickly and quietly.

    My 2 cents.

  • Unfortunately, deploying tidal turbines in the Mississippi River, or any river for that matter isn’t easy. And the obstacles have little to do with lack of technological feasibility, because initial results from the Verdant test turbines show that they are operating very efficiently. Rather, the projects are subject to the same degree of regulation imposed on impounded hydro plants, coal fired plants and large generation with far more adverse environmental effects. For those of your readers interested in this topic, please visit my site on Renewables Offshore at

  • James Aach says:

    Hadn’t seen this – thanks for the link.

    In general, underwater wind turbines might have some limited value, but they won’t replace bulk power producers. The article notes they could bring in half as much as all our hydropower damns, but those only provide 10% or so of our electric power. (We use a huge amount of power, which is why conservation has to be the first goal in any energy plan). It would take something like 14,000 of these water mills to replace one 500 MW power plant (a good sized coal unit or a small nuclear site.) That’s one of the problems with all the talk about renewables and energy-self sufficiency – – it’s difficult to get the numbers to add up. Nature’s check book is hard to balance.

    I work in the U.S. nuclear industry, but am not sold on any particular kind of energy for the future. To help with the discussion, I’ve written a thriller novel looking at nuclear power – its people, its politics, its technology. The book is free online at – and readers seem to like it judging from their comments on the homepage. It’s also now in paperback at online retailers.

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