And now for tidal power

  The world's first commercial-scale and grid-connected tidal stream generator –  SeaGen  – in  Strangford Lough , Northern Ireland. The  wake  shows the  tidal current ’s power.

The world's first commercial-scale and grid-connected tidal stream generator – SeaGen – in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. The wake shows the tidal current’s power.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:

New England’s extreme cold in the past few days has led to surges in the price of natural gas, which will in turn boost electricity rates. That ought to remind New England how much we need to develop alternative sources of power.

Perhaps Associate Prof. Geoffrey Cowles of UMass Dartmouth, an oceanographer, and his colleague Princeton engineering Prof. Luigi Martinelli, can help. The National Science Foundation has awarded them a $300,000 grant to work in cooperation with Ocean Renewable Power Co., to assess the performance of tidal energy turbines and their interactions with the immediate marine environment. This might or might not become an  important energy source for New England; it certainly deserves investigation. The more home-grown energy the better.

I ran into a neighbor the other week a who had recently put solar panels on one side of the roof. It cost $10,000 but now he and his wife have virtually no electric bill. They can run electric heaters to their heart’s content. Pretty alluring the past few days….