The Voyager

Pentland Firth could power half of Scotland

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Potentially good news for Caithness jobs in the future ? Even if it turns into a future “Dounreay” – Unlimited nuclear power giving the customer virtually “free” energy – that’s what they pedalled 30 years ago to the country. It did keep generations of Caithness people in jobs, but generated nothing for customers in energy savings. Now where else are we hearing the same sound bytes today – Ah yes – Shale Gas !! time will tell. Experience to date suggests the consumer will no more benefit from shale than they did from the nuclear promise 30 years ago.


The Pentland Firth could provide enough renewable energy to power about half of Scotland, according to research.The firth, which lies between Orkney and the Scottish mainland, has some of the fastest tidal currents in the UK.Engineers from Edinburgh and Oxford Universities said turbines placed in the stretch of water could generate 1.9GW of clean energy.Turbines would need to be located across the entire width of the channel to fully exploit it, they said.The engineers said their study narrowed down earlier estimates that the firth could produce anywhere between 1GW and 18GW of power.Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteThese studies should move us closer towards the successful exploitation of the tides”End Quote Prof Guy Houlsby University of Oxford They calculated as much as 4.2GW could be harnessed, but because tidal turbines are not 100% efficient the estimate of 1.9GW was a more realistic target.They have outlined locations where turbines should be positioned to boost the areas energy producing potential.Sites which minimise the impacts on sea life and shipping have been identified by the UK Crown Estate, which will lease them to tidal energy firms.Prof Alistair Borthwick, of the school of engineering at the University of Edinburgh, said: \”Our research builds on earlier s

via BBC News – Tidal energy: Pentland Firth could power half of Scotland.

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