New strategies for clean energy implementation in our major U.S. cities seem to pop up almost daily. In a time of rising concerns surrounding climate change, there has never been a time where finding efficient and safe energy harvesting methods has been more relevant.
When looking at current technologies, such as solar panels and windmills, it becomes clear that the best ideas take advantage of things already relevant to our current infrastructure. It is also important that suggested technologies be easy to install.
Lately, the idea of using our cities established water pipe systems to generate electricity, through turbine devices installed inside of them, has been gaining popularity. This system would take advantage of a system that is not only already in place, but also relevant to our everyday lives. In addition to our sewage and city water pipes, this technology can be easily adapted to work within any industry that uses free-flowing water systems.
Portland is leading the curve on this initiative, and along with Lucid Energy, has begun working on installing several such pipes throughout the city. These pipes are scheduled to begin their services in March, and public officials have expressed nothing but positive expectations. The current estimation forecasts that the pipes will be bringing in nearly $2,000,000 in renewable energy for Portland over the next twenty years.
electricity from water pipes
Electricity from water pipes
These pipes potential is very exciting and could provide the next big step toward a national switch to clean energy only policies. When analyzing this tech, there are several key attributes that make them more attractive than alternatives such as windmills or solar panels.
Unlike solar panels and windmills, the underground installation locations of these turbine pipes would allow them to function during any weather. This already gives them a huge advantage over the other technology. In a time where global warming and climate change have even the top scientists questioning what weather patterns might appear, a non-weather reliant energy alternative technology is of an extreme value to our nation.
More Eco-Friendly Than Many of the Alternatives
Since the turbines that would produce the energy are located inside of the pipes and provide their benefits from kinetic energy alone, there is virtually no adverse effect on their surrounding environments. This places the turbine pipes Lucid Energy is proposing as much safer than other similar electric producing alternatives, such as nuclear or hydroelectric energy.
Unlike many of the other energy alternatives, Lucid Energy’s pipe systems can run themselves with almost no outside assistance. When placed in an area where pipes follow a downhill path, the turbines are operated naturally by kinetic energy from downhill flowing water streams. Many other similar technologies need a good amount of outside energy applied to them in order to operate, which offsets the amount of energy they truly obtain. With these turbine installed pipes there will be little input of energy needed in exchange for their impressive output of renewable, clean energy.
Keeping our eyes on only the most promising technology is a necessity in this environment of seemingly endless clean energy strategies. Lucid Energy’s turbine pipes’ relatively inexpensive installation costs, self-sustainability, self-sufficiency, and eco-safeness they seem likely to become the next big thing in clean energy tech. Once the project has had time to run its course in Seattle we will begin to have a clearer picture of how useful the technology can become. Until then it is our responsibility to support such initiatives as much as we can afford to. Clean energy is our nation’s future, and it should be given the priority it deserves.