Posts Tagged ‘Orkney’

Vikings predicted our renewable future

April 16, 2008

There was an interesting piece in the FT yesterday about the potential for sea tidal power to be used to generate renewable energy in the Orkney islands. Scientists estimate that the Pentland Firth, that strip of ocean which separates the islands from the mainland, could generate a whopping 10% of the energy needs of the whole of the UK.

As a technologist, with a deep interest in environmental issues, it has always seemed plain daft that sea-bound UK is not storming ahead with wave and tidal power systems. Although it’s good to see that there are trials going on around Orkney and that £15m in grants have been ploughed into exploring the practical realities, it seems peanuts compared to to what’s being invested in other energy sources.

It seems to me that the ancient Vikings actually had the right idea for where the future of the islands lay – according to the article in the FT, the Icelandic meaning of Orkney is “energy islands”!