Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A very interesting approach to producing green power

I am across this interesting post at Tyler Hamilton's blog Clean Break. He is a reporter with the Toronto Star.

The company Riverbank Power has come up with an innovative pumped-storage hydro system, though they call it Underground Alternative Energy Production. The idea is to effectively use the movement of water into and out of an underground storage facility to produce electrical power. You let water run in during peak hours and peak demand and then you use the excess power, which is cheap, at off peak hours, to pump the water back out.

The technology to do this is clearly there, my question would be if the business case is there to do this. Is the differential between peak and off peak rates high enough to pay for the capital costs and cover the energy lost in the process?

I wonder if there are issues with storing the water underground in a created cavern and then returning it to the surface? What would the impact be on fish and wildlife? Would the water change in temperature and would that then be a problem?

I love it when people come up with interesting and innovative solutions, it is so much better than being opposed to everything and generally be negative and gloomy.

If climate change is happening, let us embrace it in the hope that it will bring us more and great wealth through the development of new technologies and new companies.

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