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  (Source: Photo Everywhere)

  (Source: World in Future)
City wants to spread renewable energy awareness

The historical Seine River in Paris will receive an installment of eight turbines underneath the city's bridges in an effort to raise energy from river currents. 

A majority of the machinery used to harness the currents will be underwater with the exception of some modern hydro-mill prototypes that will be placed above water. According to Paris authorities, the addition of the turbines is intended to raise awareness of renewable energy more so than power the city. So far, Paris has already begun installing mini-windmills on buildings and also heating the buildings with water from underground springs.  

"We're not expecting the moon and the stars with these techniques," said Denis Baupin, the deputy mayor. "But the educational impact of these experiments is just as important. Velib, Paris' free bicycle scheme, has made Parisians realize they can use cycles in the city, and these renewable energy schemes will make them aware of the need to watch what they consume."

According to Baupin, four sites for the turbines, or hydroliennes, have been selected. A study by a local urban ecology service and the French waterways has concluded that one of the turbines should be placed to the west of the city at the Pont du Garigliano, and the other seven should be placed in central Paris, two a piece, at the Pont de la Tournelle, Pont Marie and Pont au Change. 

"At these places, the current speeds up a little," said Baupin. "The idea is to locate all the natural power sources that we have in Paris and that we might be able to exploit."

There have been mixed reviews from local citizens regarding the installation of these eight turbines. Some voiced their approval, and hope that renewable energy will be an important asset to the local fishing community and to local authorities as well. Others had mixed feelings on the issue, saying that this seemed like a good idea in the beginning, but could turn out to be "ridiculous" because of the lack of energy produced. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who are dead set against the turbines.

"We're going to throw a fortune into useless hydroliennes," said a city local. "Their cost will be considerably higher than the electricity produced. All that to be 'educational'?"

Paris city hall will send out an appeal this week allowing any power companies interested in the job to come forward with "suitable projects" for installing the turbines. These companies have until the fall to submit ideas, and the winner will be chosen in January. If everything goes to plan, the city hopes to install the first turbines by next spring.  



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I doubt it works well
By AnnihilatorX on 7/1/2010 8:25:59 AM , Rating: 4
My view is this may cause problems

1) The power potential may be very small therefore may take a significant time to recoup costs. This is very likely as the low volume of water flow and current speed for a river means the energy potential is much less than a turbine in open sea.
2) It may disrupt marine life in the vicinity
3) It may disrupt the flow rate of the river and results in for example sediment build up and increased flooding risk




RE: I doubt it works well
By Spivonious on 7/1/2010 8:35:00 AM , Rating: 3
1. I agree, this seems more like a PR move.
2. When I was in Paris a couple years ago, I didn't notice any marine life in the Seine in the city center. I doubt this is a real concern.
3. The river is lined with pretty high walls. It would have to flood about 20 feet before it reached the streets. Also, I'm sure engineers have taken this into account, since that's their job.


RE: I doubt it works well
By fredthelight on 7/1/2010 8:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
2. There is marine life, but I would never dare to eat a fish coming from la Seine :D(although big efforts have been made to remove the pollution since a few years, if not more)
3. some places of the river are borderline, and the Seine is known to have flooded Paris many times..so a little bit more or less, they don't seem to care.


RE: I doubt it works well
By Smartless on 7/1/2010 2:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I'd like to back up engineers and the liability that follows but in this case... this idea has quite a bit of unknowns. Especially given the design. A dam is easy to control all aspects of water flow where as this passive design seems to affect just the velocity of the flow. The most efficient place to put this is where there is fast laminar flow but wouldn't that increase the possibility of a hydraulic jump increasing the water height by alot? Well perhaps if they either built a scale model or computer model you'd get some of the outcomes but never all. That's engineering.


RE: I doubt it works well
By BBeltrami on 7/2/2010 9:57:49 AM , Rating: 3
There are many unknowns, which is why we should teach the French the Precautionary Principle. We have no idea how that will impact the fragile system of rivers in Paris or their eco-systems. Imagine if we put turbines under water in the Mississippi or Colorado rivers. The Environmentalists would absolutely come unglued. But it's France, and they're making a statement!

Considering that France is the world leader in Nuclear Power (a fact Tiffany didn't even acknowledge), this article is transparent diversion. It's insulting. DailyTech has really hit upon rough times. When I first started coming to DT around 2000 it was a great source for relevant Tech news that was in many cases unavailable elsewhere. Most notably Masher's perspective on AGW.

Today, it's more a kin to a mouthpiece for the environmental movement. And the tech-related articles are old news (from the spy ring to the Tesla IPO to the iPhone and on and on); I see the stories elsewhere before coming here. It's sad. But I'm more and more often wondering why I come here when the information is redundant and valueless. And worse, the product of transparent activism...


RE: I doubt it works well
By Quadrillity on 7/1/2010 8:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) The power potential may be very small therefore may take a significant time to recoup costs. This is very likely as the low volume of water flow and current speed for a river means the energy potential is much less than a turbine in open sea.

quote:
"We're not expecting the moon and the stars with these techniques," said Denis Baupin, the deputy mayor. "But the educational impact of these experiments is just as important.


Sea currents are better, but like the article states, this is indeed more of a PR and awarness move more than anything. If enough people jump on this trend, it will take off. The funny thing about markets is the diversity; Without the early adopters, the mass market would never see cost effective products. Take SSDs for example: They started off being $1,000 or more and were in no way economical in terms of price per gain; but because of early adopters, we can now buy a decent SSD at ~$150 or less.

On a side note, I am ready to see practical solar pannel roofing material. Imagine every single roof doing it's part to lessen the load. Billions of buildings can make a difference.


RE: I doubt it works well
By menace on 7/1/2010 1:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
SSD's are not a valid analogy. Such electronic devices have very little material cost, the main reason they start off so expensive is to recoup development and capital costs. For a turbine system such as this the majority of costs are in materials and fabrication. You simply won't see a tenfold price decrease in something like that like you see happen for electronic devices.


RE: I doubt it works well
By Quadrillity on 7/1/2010 2:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
My example of SSD's is a valid example of simple economic markets.
quote:
the main reason they start off so expensive is to recoup development and capital costs.

True to a certain extent. If company X is the only one selling a product, then they can charge whatever they want for it. When the market it flooded with different brands of the same product, thats when you will see a true price drop and market demand.

It's economics 101 my friend. If companies start flooding the markets, the prices will come down.


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