Seymour Narrows Tidal Power Installation

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by nootka, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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  2. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    Fifty views so far, and no comments. I guess nobody cares.
    For me, the only good thing about this project is the fact the government will only spend two to three million dollars of our money subsidizing this nonsense.
    The naive public will lap it up though, and it will be money well spent on vote gathering for the government. Perhaps that is another benefit.
    If the gov. is serious about tide energy then it would make infinite sense to invite international bidding on a large project. Surge narrows comes to mind. :wink:
     
  3. Layback

    Layback Paddler

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    More like nobody knows.

    From what I can see here, it is a project to rip out a man-made causeway, re-establishing the original current flows, and plunk down turbines to generate electricity - in an area that is occupied by a fish farm or some form of aquaculture.

    If we are going to drive electric cars, not to mention using our myriad of electrical gadgets, we are going to need electricity. The options are hydroelectric dams, run of the river projects, windmills, tidal power and nuclear power. Looks like we are getting the first one up in the northeast, the second one in many spots (such as McNabb Creek in the Howe Sound), a few sporadic efforts on the third, a few sporadic efforts on the fourth and the last one is a no-go.

    What exactly is your concern with the Canoe Pass project? Is it going to make sushi out of the local marine life?

    Which government is providing the subsidy you refer to?

    Generally speaking, I am in favour of efforts to find alternative energy sources. I would rather see this than more hydroelectric dams. And, I very much prefer wind and current projects to the use of nuclear energy.
     
  4. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    It's good to see a rational response! I have zero respect for biased opinions expressed as unsubstantiated claims.

    There is an active pod of sea lions in Seymour Narrows (I spend a lot of time there). They will have to be protected from the turbines, but I do not see that as being difficult, a wire mesh cage would do.

    I doubt that the changed flows will affect my kayak route through the narrows, it may even give me an alternative or create a new surfing spot.

    As for Surge Narrows, I've been there every two weeks since November 8, and have posted video since January 20. I'm creating online proof that it is used regularly by kayakers.
    I invite others to do the same.
     
  5. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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    :big_thumb

    Which is why I kept quiet. I support exploring tidal power and renewable energy sources instinctively, but there are no perfect energy solutions anywhere. I can't tell whether the pros outweigh the cons for this particular site, but I sure hope so.
     
  6. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    With all due respect to you. You didn't keep quiet because of my "biased opinions expressed as unsubstantiated claims". You kept quiet because you only have a general opinion , like most people. And like most people it feels good to go with the flow, so to speak.
     
  7. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    I admit I am a little biased. I prefer economical and environmentally sensible solutions in a scale that meets the need. Is there anything wrong with that? The 500 kw $7 million dollar Canoe project does not meet this criteria. It will start the process of installing larger (but still dinky) units all over the area you paddle in. Furthermore, I would suggest you rethink your position on protecting Surge narrows. The reason I say this is that you seem to support tidal energy generation, as long as it is not in an area you use. If Surge narrows was to provide four or five mw of energy and only impact a hundred recreational kayakers who occasionally use the area, then maybe it should be supported by the kayakers (or at least those who support the green technology)
    As for funding, $2 million will come from the ICE fund. More from other charities and gov. I expect. If I am wrong about this minimum 2 million dollars I promise to never again post an unsubstantiated claim.
    At this time, wave and tidal energy is in its infancy on a world scale. I believe we should let other countries develop the technology before we use it. Countries that pay far more for their electricity are better positioned for this. This way, there will be no need for dozens of relatively useless, expensive plants to visually pollute the area. Then when the time comes, a large facility can be installed in Seymour narrows. Something that we will actually get a return on investment and provide a sum of energy in the hundreds of mw.
     
  8. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Smaller hydro plants such as Akokolex River & Walter Hardman were installed and are operated without much environmental impact. I see nothing wrong with small units that are well situated.
    http://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHy ... -06-01.pdf
    http://www.transalta.com/facilities/pla ... /akolkolex

    Canoe Pass is ideally situated for an economic test site because of the nearby road, the transmission lines, and the still waters. These all make it cheaper to build.

    There are many places turbines could be placed at Beazley Passage / Surge Narrows without impacting the 3 waves we surf.
    When the time comes, the kayak community should be recognized as a stakeholder.

    Why shouldn't $2 million come from the ICE fund, that's what it's for.
    Meanwhile the war against ISIS has cost $122 million plus
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/16 ... ment-says/
    What benefit do we get from that?

    As for "dozens of relatively useless, expensive plants to visually pollute the area", Figure 8 of http://www.icoe2014canada.org/wp-conten ... ccogna.pdf shows 7 potential sites with 100MW+ and 7+ with 10 to 100MW. It also says 1MW = 415 homes.
    Would visual pollution be more than fish farms? I doubt it.

    In my opinion, it is better to develop technology in house and then sell it, rather than pay other countries.
    I suspect Canada has the engineering expertise to develop this technology.

    Feel free to provide numbers to prove that
    -small power sources are uneconomical (don't forget external costs ie climate change)
    -small power sources are environmentally unsound
    -tidal power sources are useless & expensive
    -Canada does not have engineering expertise
    -buying technology is cheaper in the long run than developing it

    more info:
    https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/hyd ... _study.pdf
    http://www.energybc.ca/profiles/tidal.html
    http://www.marinerenewables.ca/wp-conte ... ground.pdf
     
  9. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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    You're jumping to conclusions. Like I said - I kept quiet because I have biased, but unsubstantiated ideas on the topic.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Not taking a position on this issue. However, one of nootka's links is a good primer for someone who just wants basic information: http://www.energybc.ca/profiles/tidal.html

    Some very interesting numbers delineating the resource available, various locations in BC, very broad brush. I assume that Seymour Narrows has the greatest potential, though none of the sites is identified by name in the charts and tables I scanned. In addition, the two major styles of extraction, via barrage or turbine, are described. One number which stuck in my head was the need for a 10 to 15 metre diameter turbine for effective power generation. That's pretty darn big! But not as large as most current turbines in hydroelectric systems installed in large dams.

    This will be fun to watch.
     
  11. jk

    jk Paddler

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    My worry is so-called green solutions such as this will create other problems such as messing with the building blocks of the marine ecosystem -- the microscopic organisms. These turbines are invariably being proposed for ecologically rich areas, which are feeding grounds for the wider marine ecology. Fill these areas with turbines, pat ourselves on the back for going green then wonder why the fish and whales are dying -- that's a potential outcome. I'm sorry, I can't profess a huge degree of knowledge about the science, but I am always skeptical about the measures used to declare something acceptable, particularly when the sources cited earlier have info such as this:

    I agree we need electricity to go green, but risking the ocean ecology for minimal overall effect is dubious. BC is in the middle of a coal-era boom once again to ship coal to China so they can make us cheap plastic things while the air in China becomes poisonous. Why forge ahead blindly on small unproven green projects when we're blindly polluting the planet on a huge scale elsewhere? It's like plucking a nose hair on a llama and saying we're reducing the hair-shedding problem while we continue to breed llamas. We're already flooding the Peace River for electricity we may not need. So plugging up one of the most ecologically rich tidal channels in BC is necessary why?

    To bring this back to kayaking, the turbines themselves may be non-emission producing and being underwater may seem benign in theory. But wait until a road is bulldozed into Surge Narrows, cranes and equipment used to place the turbine, electrical and transmission towers put in place, maintenance buildings erected and other work done. It will become an industrial area, just like 'green' run of river hydro projects dig up rivers, reroute and industrialize them. There's nothing green when you look at the end result. So don't think it will be paddling as usual when a half a dozen or so of these are dumped around the Quadra Island tidal channels.
     
  12. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    No one has the numbers. The people with the money to install low power projects are in the lead to dismiss potential environmental impacts as 'minimal'. Lots of evidence though.

    Kinda Sorta like the mine in Strathcona Park. Lots of 'minimal impact' projects and eventually you turn the Park into a lunar landscape.

    Bees and wind turbines
    http://apisuk.com/Bees/2013/01/research ... -turbines/

    Tide power generation and earths rotational energy. Tide power is not renewable.
    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questi ... s-rotation

    Solar Power environmental impact
    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our- ... RceY_zF_Ss

    Wind turbines, low frequency noise, and health
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/enviro ... health.htm

    Potential Environmental Impact for Tidal Power
    http://www.ecospark.ca/wattwize/students/tidal
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    jk wrote: I'm sorry, I can't profess a huge degree of knowledge about the science, but I am always skeptical about the measures used to declare something acceptable, particularly when the sources cited earlier have info such as this:

    Quote:
    Few studies have yet been done that fully analyze the impact of tidal power on local marine life.

    John K, I am perhaps as skeptical as you seem to be regarding large scale or widespread tidal power installations, particularly turbines. However, until some pilot installations have been in place for a few years, likely we will not have the opportunity to study the effects which make us skeptics. I think it makes sense to try this a few places, study each one thoroughly for impacts on marine life, etc., and gather the data on which a sound decision might be made For or against further development.

    As the luck of geography has it, BC has a lock on choice locations ... with nonCanadians only spectators at the first rub. Yet, the rest of us will have Canadians to thank for taking the lead on answering questions which may affect wide ranging marine life, species important worldwide. If chemists and others had thought to test the effect of DDT on various mammals and birds in the early days, we might have avoided the massacre of great numbers of those species which overuse of DDT caused. Just to cite one example.
     
  14. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Seems most everybody here, regardless of their selfish details, wants everything for free as it suits them. Paddlers or not, we live in the real world.
    Can somebody explain this to me?

    Not expecting any 'put downs' or criticism again because I ask a fair question.

    Outsider
     
  15. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    Actually, not a fair question.
     
  16. jk

    jk Paddler

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    Okay, I'll bite. One of the oldest criticisms against environmentalists attending meetings is, "How did you get here? You drove! You need the pipelines and tankers! How can you deny the infrastructure you are using!" Well, the answer is we drive because the electric solar-powered public transit isn't available. So society is making that choice, not the individual. I don't know that anyone anywhere expressed wanting something for free. I think the problem is people are often blind to the hidden costs, which was why it's worth pointing out, for instance, that damaging infrastructure is just one associated consequence of a so-called 'green' solution. It is not selfish to know the consequences.

    So yes, we naysayers live in the real world, but the real world is whacked. For instance, run your hot water without adding cold water. Will it burn your hand? Why do we have millions of hot water tanks across North America keeping water at scorching temperatures to run for a bath or to wash our hands for which we invariably add cold water because the temperature is too high? This is the type of useless waste that goes unaddressed and yet instead of addressing useless waste we add to the generating capacity despite consequences. Last summer I spent 3 1/2 months on the water on a boat so all electricity was solar generated other than some use of a generator when it was cloudy for days on end. So I became very attuned to the use of resources like electricity and water and it is amazing how little you can use when you are required without it impacting lifestyle. For instance, you don't leave a phone charger plugged in that continues an electrical drain even when a phone isn't attached. Just one stupid small example. In a house you ignore this type of thing because it's so easy because you are so removed from the source. Magnify this type of thing by millions and you have a major problem. Such as second freezers in the garage to freeze ham hocks and orange juice cans bought last year. They were on sale and bought in bulk, so you saved some money, and yet you paid $400 in electricity for the freezer over the course of that year. We're flooding the Peace River so people can make stupid purchasing decisions? Or so people don't have to think about how they use resources? That's the selfish aspect. "I want without concern for consequence" is about as selfish as selfish gets.

    So I reject any statement of 'get with the program' when the program is flawed. We are fixing the wrong thing, we should be fixing demand first, not capacity, and when we do truly need more capacity it should be done in the most intelligent and least impactful way possible. I reject the outlook that something is 'green' simply because it doesn't create emissions. The real cost needs to be known. With tidal turbines we don't know that yet so we are essentially introducing the potential equivalent of DDTs into the water. The last thing we want is another 'oops, we goofed,' or a debate raging 20-50 years after their introduction as to how much of the negative impact seen in the marine environment can be attributed to tidal turbines once they're as prevalent as fish farms.

    So the process here, Outsider, is questioning the process, not wanting selfishly for free. I acknowledge I require electricity. As of May 1 to Oct. 1 that will be almost entirely solar generated, done almost entirely by addressing the amount used. So I plan to live much as I preach, for what that's worth, but not much as most of us don't have an alternative to what's offered unless we fight for change which involves examining and criticizing the status quo. These types of forums are part of that valuable process and turning it back on the people who question the status quo is probably the weakest possible way to forward the debate. It's like the "you drove here, therefore you can't possibly criticize the pipeline" argument. You can't fault someone for not using an alternative when the alternative doesn't exist.
     
  17. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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  18. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    One of my many utopian ideas is to have people pay similar energy costs as many other countries(Europe for ex.) That would reduce general usage considerably and cause us to downsize the vehicles we drive. Then we could also double the electricity rates again for people who live in two occupant statement homes. This won't happen anytime soon, one of the flaws of democracy, I suppose.
     
  19. seadevilsadvocate

    seadevilsadvocate Paddler

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    A brief, chaotic review of my thoughts:
    Projects like this are really just window dressing, even in the unlikely case they are proven to be environmentally sound. Why would we want to experiment with any "green" renewable energy when over 90% of our electricity output in BC is already renewable? And 60% if we consider all of Canada.
    If we look at other large economies like Germany and the UK, around 60%of their electricity output comes from burning fossil fuels. Germany is leading the charge to renewable energy with around 25-30% renewable sources to date. It seems they are better positioned for this because electricity costs them far more than us, they rely heavily on fossil fuels(mainly coal), and they can place a renewable project just about anywhere since the grid is never far away.
    It is worth noting that Germany considers burning wood for electricity gen.to be part of the renewable mix, and it contributes 25% to the total use of renewable energy.I think we might just look at European countries with envy on how much they are concentrating on renewable energy and conservation and it clouds our better judgement at times.

    In addition to conservation which JK discusses, I do think we should concentrate on what we know, and that is
    hydroelectric. I also believe that at some point many more rivers will be dammed for hydroelectric use. If this is the case then it would be wise to spend a lot of time and money on figuring out ways to have a minimal effect on biodiversity but at the same time accepting that there will be major losses, particularly among species that will have the least impact on our lives.

    Further to the energy debate in Canada and the world-we are definitely stumbling along, not really knowing what to do(see wood burning in Germany for ex.) Closer to home, Alberta mostly burns coal for their electricity. And much of this goes to the oilsands recovery process. With regard to that, much of Ontarios electricity is nuclear based. We have technology in Canada to develop this so maybe we should support building a nuclear plant to extract the oil.
    I believe the problem with this is not because nuclear is unsafe. That is largely nonsense. The actual reason is that it is prohibitively expensive. Both to build and finance the construction as well as the cost of clean up in the event of a "spill".

    Two more things-take a look at the all important capacity factors for the various sources of electricity generation(particularly in this case, the difference between tidal and hydroelectric)
    (Cieedac report)
    And look at the possibility that a renewable and safe form of nuclear energy might be possible at some point. Compliments of one of the largest military contractors on the planet-Lockheed Martin

    http://www.economist.com/news/business/ ... uel-future
    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/energy-indu ... ation.html
    http://www.energybc.ca/profiles/largehydro.html
    http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/index.html#top
    http://wellbeing.research.mcgill.ca/pub ... FT2014.pdf
    http://www.ontarioenergyreport.ca/
    http://www.energy.alberta.ca/electricity/682.asp
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... ear-fusion
    http://cieedac.sfu.ca/media/publication ... _Final.pdf
     
  20. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    There needs to be a better understanding how an economy works. If you artificially interfere with the price of one commodity then you drive the cost of everything else up until there is equilibrium. A gallon of milk costs a dollar here and a pound there. Wages more or less reflect that cost so in terms of hours work the milk costs the same even if there is significant offset on money exchange. We saw it with the energy crisis of mid 1970's where oil prices got artificially increased with the result of massive inflation that included 20% interest rates. A five cent chocolate bar now costs a dollar.

    If you interfere too much then you risk damage to the local economy. As seen with BC carbon tax where proponents point to lower gas volume purchases without acknowledging how many people cross the border to purchase not only lower cost gas but also lower cost goods. You also exacerbate social inequity where people on low incomes suffer while people with large incomes merely pay the price.

    The only way to reduce general energy usage is to make systems that are more efficient. Example is use of fiber optics in communication that has resulted in higher bandwidth while significantly lowering demand on copper. You need that kind of innovation to make an equivalent energy use reduction.

    You might like the high price of electricity in say Spain ... would you also like Spain's 24% unemployment that is mainly due to an inefficient and noncompetitive economy?