Oceans are the next big source of energy. A large majority of this energy is harnessed from water originating from rivers and lakes, but researchers have recently studied the benefits of exploiting tidal energy to meet worldwide energy demands.
How oceans generate energy?
Tidal or wave energy is a clean renewable resource that is available wherever there are changing tides. This kind of energy is generated where a large dam is constructed across an estuary, capturing energy from incoming and outgoing currents. Once water from the incoming tide has seeped into the dam, it flows into an area where the dam’s turbines can harness kinetic energy from the movement of the water to generate electricity.
According to Article3.com, the other effective way of capturing tidal energy is by placing free standing turbines, which look like big fans, in offshore tidal streams. The fans are similar to the ones you would see at a wind farm, except they are underwater and spun by the ocean’s currents instead of the wind. The ocean’s tidal streams, although slow moving, carry an enormous amount of kinetic energy and spin the turbine propellers to generate electricity.
Generation of electricity through wave power works best in areas that have strong currents and Kenya is currently the largest producer of geothermal energy in Africa. It is one of the two countries in Africa that produce geothermal energy including Ethiopia.
Kenya investing in alternative energies
While Kenya may not be at the level of harnessing energy from the ocean, the government is making deliberate efforts to see the national grid fed with alternative renewable energy which is cheaper and better.
Green energy production also referred to as Renewable energy, is and will continue to be the next top source of power being relied on in most countries across the world. Green energy replaces the most conservative fuels such as firewood, motor fuels and electricity generation with use of wind, geothermal power and solar to produce power.
Presently, Kenya has ongoing renewable energy projects in efforts to add power to the national grid and as at now, Uasin Gishu is set to host a 40 megawatt solar power plant. The project under Alten Kenya Solar farms will be built within 10-14 months and will commence once the farm gets approval and links power purchase agreement from Kenya Power.
This and many more power projects are expected to add into the national grid up to 5,000 megawatts by 2018 in order to cut electricity costs among consumers and industrialists.