The Future Of Green Technology

You’ve definitely heard of green energy systems like solar power and wind power, but what about water power? It’s actually one of the most rudimentary and oldest ways of gathering energy (think watermills that harness the power of waterfalls or quickly moving rivers). This are usually small scale mills that are used for alternative or rural power gathering.

However, a new technology out of Japan may just be the next big thing in green energy. Professor Tsumoru Shintake at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology has invented a turbine that harnesses the power of ocean currents to generate usable energy that can be transferred to Japan via cable. It’s an impressive step because ocean currents, much like wind power, require little comparative maintenance versus the energy they generate. The current is there, we’re just collecting the power behind it.


That’s not to say that there weren’t challenges in this new turbine’s creation. Salt water is incredibly corrosive, and any metal submerged in it for a period of time rusts and becomes less mobile. To overcome this, Tsumoro’s team made the exterior entirely out of ceramic, with the metal components sealed inside. Theoretically, the turbine should only require maintenance every 10 years, meaning it could stay submerged and gathering power for that entire length of time.

The implications of this turbine are huge. “Using just 1% of the seashore of mainland Japan can [generate] about 10 gigawatts [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants,” Professor Shintake explains. And once Japan adopts it, the rest of the world should follow!