Deep Green Underwater Kites: A New Way to Harness Tidal Energy

Good news in renewable energy development this week. Minesto, a Swedish start-up and SAAB spin-off, looks to make a new tidal turbine commercially available within four years. Their “Deep Green” technology is a tidal stream system that uses the motion of the tides to generate electricity, similar to wind power generation. Deep Green’s turbines are connected to kites, which are anchored to the ocean floor, and move back and forth in the water to generate electricity (see an animation of this process here).

Minesto is optimistic about Deep Green’s eventual energy production capabilities (via CNN):

Anchoring “Deep Green” and steering the tethered “kite” enables the turbine to capture energy from the tidal currents at ten times the speed of the actual stream velocity…When operational, the turbine is expected to generate 500 kilowatts of power.

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Image shows an artist’s impression of how the “Deep Green” device will function beneath the surface of the ocean. Via Minesto.

I’m fascinated by the possibilities for harnessing energy in new, clean ways. Unlike wind or solar, Deep Green Underwater Kites aren’t a market-ready renewable energy technology yet, but to me there’s hope in the possibility.

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