Wind Power vs Tidal Power
Wind Power and Tidal Power are two renewable sources of energy. Difference between wind power and tidal power is a fascinating one and scientists are exploring both these forms of energy to harness them for the benefit of mankind. We all know that rapid depletion of fossil fuels for generation of energy is not only causing a lot of pollution leading to global warming, they are also drying up at a fast rate forcing scientists to think of cleaner and sustainable sources of energy. Wind power and tidal power are both constant sources of energy capable of meeting the ever growing needs of energy.
Wind power is another form of solar energy. Sun’s ray’s heat up surface of the earth during day time and it cools during nights. Hot air is released in the environment taking up place of cool air and this causes winds or air currents to be generated. The kinetic energy of winds is harnessed using wind generators and to produce electricity from them. Wind power is thus virtually free and all that is needed is setting up turbines, particularly near coastal areas where huge winds are generated to produce electricity. Today, many countries are using wind power to supplement their energy needs. In contrast to solar energy, wind power is constant as it is not dependent upon sun in the nights. Weather also does not make any difference to production of electricity using wind power as wind is blowing constantly whether it is sunny, cold, cloudy or rainy weather.
Tidal power has been known to mankind since ages. Even in ancient times, water wheels were used to generate mechanical power to run machines on farms and homes harnessing the energy of tides. Tidal power is much more reliable and predictable than wind or solar power. It is another means of harnessing power of water, the other known method being hydro power generating hydro electricity. There has been much advancement in technology since tidal power was first used in 1960’s and the scientists have realized that tidal power has much more potential than they assumed.
Tidal power is a result of the relative motions of the earth and the moon. The attraction of moon causes huge tides in oceans at regular intervals and the kinetic energy thus generated is made use of in generation of power. As the gravitational power of moon is constant, tidal power is virtually constant and inexhaustible.
Difference between Wind Power and Tidal Power
• Both wind power and tidal power do not require burning up fuels to harness their energy.
• Both do not cause any emission of greenhouse gases either. The major difference between the two renewable sources of energy is the power of sun and the power of moon.
• Both work on same principles, but whereas it is wind that moves turbines in case of wind power, huge tides cause propellers to rotate in case of tidal power.
• While wind is not predictable and varies in power all the time, tidal power is much more predictable and thus can be harnessed in a better and planned manner.
• However, wind is always blowing, whereas tides are produced after regular intervals only.
• One thing that goes strongly in favor of both wind and tidal power is the fact that they do not cause harm to the environment and thus are attractive alternatives to energy derived from fossil fuels.