The world is moving away from the age of Coal, Oil and Nuclear Fission as the source of its energy requirements into the new age of Shale Gas and Renewables such as Wind Power generators and Solar Panels. We are becoming the clean power generation. However there are already “new kids on the block” in the form of Nuclear Fusion, Solar Energy collectors and possibly Tidal Energy. These later sources will give unlimited electrical power to the world and could be available within the next few decades.
The thought of Tidal Energy on tap and harnessed for the United Kingdom is fascinating if fanciful. After all the country has some of the highest tides in the world and provided the Moon stays in place they will continue forever. The idea of damming the Severn and Morecambe Bay estuaries to generate water driven turbine electricity has been voiced for many years but has always been shot down as impractical and environmentally unfriendly. It is said to be cruel to birds, bugs, fish and the Port of Bristol, let alone not having the ability to produce viable and sustainable turbines. New materials and technology have resolved the problems of the production of the turbines, and instead of a shore to shore barrage the latest idea is to construct “socking great” lagoons along the coast. This would leave the main tidal stream to move virtually uninhibited up and down the estuaries. The turbines would run as the tide rose and filled the lagoons and they would also run as the tide fell and the lagoons emptied. We would have twenty four hour a day electricity generation which is more than can be said for Wind and Solar power.
Is it so farfetched to imagine that in not too many years the world could have sufficient electrical power from a mixture of sources to satisfy the needs of its growing population? Plentiful power will allow the cheap production of fertilisers and would also run major desalination plants. The world would have the technical ability to create enough food and drink for everyone. Whether it has the political desire and skills to achieve this nirvana is another question entirely. As a financial investor it will be interesting to see which of the technology funds successfully invest into this arena.