Louis Masonick, Week 15
Today, 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity. For the most part these are often rural and hard to reach areas. Most energy comes from coal and oil, but these are highly unsustainable and pollute our atmosphere. So, as we create more access to energy for those who don’t have it, we try to give them sustainable and clean energy. This can come in the form of wind turbines, hydroelectric, and solar. Often the costs are very expensive to implement these systems though.
The company Smart Hydro Power has created a hydrokinetic turbine that can harness energy from the movement of water in remote locations where people do not have access to electricity. The process is simple, a turbine is anchored to the river bottom where it sits, water causes the turbine to spin thus creating energy. Depending on the river current, one turbine can provide 8,500 kilowatt hours of electricity a year on average. This is about equivalent to providing 30 households and a small workshop. Water is more reliable as a river is constantly flowing, but it isn’t always sunny nor is it always windy.
Although this is a new innovation in hydroelectric power, there are still some issues that come with it. Even though the turbine is much more portable and cheaper to produce, it still could be too expensive for communities without electricity. There’s also the issue of setting up the infrastructure that would allow people to use the electricity. Although electricity is very necessary in our world, there are other pressing issues in these communities. Many poor communities still do not have access to clean water or sustainable food resources.
Source: Portable River Turbine