'Green' energy isn't always green

Re: "Tidal turbines worth exploring," Nov. 16.

The call to conservationists to help find a suitable location for tidal turbines might sound superficially sage by throwing the issue back at those objecting.

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However, the basic problem remains that major tidal channels also happen to be the most environmentally rich marine environments.

"Those who raise objections about the project should also offer to help." That's a bit like asking conservationists which old-growth rainforest to use for an environmentally sustainable and renewable source of wood. Don't expect a flurry of suggested locations.

Look at any run-of-river hydro generation project to see the access roads, service buildings and diverted water into pipes along previously pristine waterways and the definition of "green" energy begins to look blight-grey quite quickly.

Mess with the building blocks of the marine food chain by mincing it with turbines, and you might set the stage for a wonderful side industry - pureed seafood - but don't expect much enthusiastic support from environmentalists.

Energy isn't necessarily clean just because you can't see a smokestack.

John Kimantas


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