Underwater Hydropower Turbines Spread to Paris
Paris Deputy Mayor Denis Baupin has announced plans for the French city to join Alaska, New York, and Ontario in turning to hydropower for a renewable energy solution. Bids to install turbines under several bridges in the Seine river are due by September of this year with project completion scheduled for the spring. As hydropower turns away from huge hydroelectric dams and reservoirs that permanently alter the landscape, it is becoming a popular source of green energy.
The new underwater turbines borrow heavily on wind power technology for a smaller footprint and more affordable energy solution. Although the current technology supplies only a small percentage of energy needs for the areas where underwater turbines have been installed, hydropower is a growing industry, with installation locations as varied as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the Kvalsund Channel in Norway.
Verdant Power, a New York based hydropower company, is deploying monitoring equipment with their 35 kilowatt turbines to study the impact on aquatic life. Although it is too early to determine all of the environmental factors involved, it looks as though hydropower from underwater turbines is a clean source of renewable energy.