Today we will look at a piece of technology which could have a substantial effect on the global business world. In this specific case, it’s how we power things. Now, windmill power has been talked about many times before, but this is the first time we’ve seen anything which combines the harnessing of the ocean with a windmill design. The AK-1000, recently released by Atlantis Resources Corporation in Scotland, could have a “revolutionary” effect on making renewable energy a viable replacement to fossil fuels.
The AK-1000 is the largest of its kind—a 130 ton metal shaft which bears twin rotating blades. If installed correctly, the AK-1000 is expected to initially deliver around 1 MW of power, which is enough to power 1,000 homes in Scotland. The plan is increase use and efficiency of the AK-1000, enough so that power output reaches 150MW in 2013 and 700MW by 2020. This would translate into 700,000 homes that would be powered by marine energy.
The AK-1000 is environmentally-friendly as well. The low rotation speed of its blades ensures a minimal disturbance to the surrounding ecosystem. However, challenges remain. Harnessing marine energy isn’t anything new. Dams are a great example of both controlling the ecosystem and using it for power as well. Dams require a lot of resources, both to monitor and keep up. The AK-1000 doesn’t transform the environment quite as much as a dam does, but it works best in places where the waves and currents are at their strongest—which makes installation quite difficult.
Although hurdles exist for marine energy, the AK-1000 is an example of one technological innovation which will potentially change the way we power things. There are currently around 20 other projects in development which mimic what the AK-1000 is trying to do. Let’s see what they can do.