VIVACE – less destructive hydro energy?

You know me, I’m really skeptical of energy generation. In general, if you ask me, the “solution” to global electrical generation is to cut it back substantially and radically decentralize what remains. But I’m willing to look at developing technologies, because, well, I like the internet and I don’t want everyone heating their homes with firewood. (Passive solar, and insulation, on the other hand…)

Anyhow, VIVACE is a machine that makes use of slow-moving water to generate electricity. What’s exciting about it is that it doesn’t need to block a river and it might be rather kinder to marine life than dams or tidal power generators. Hell, the company that currently markets the device, Vortex Hydro Energy, even rambles on about how dams are being resisted and actually ought be taken down. There’s an interesting introductory video over on the University of Michigan website (where the machine was developed).

We’ll see. I’d love to see the dams gone, but when it comes to electrical generation, TANSTAAFL. I expect that this thing is less bad than dams, of course, but I’m waiting for 30 years from now when people say “oh, woops, our windfarms have radically upset weather patterns, and our VIVACE have completely changed global currents.” But well, if there’s a world with people in it around 30 years from now anyhow, it means we ditched coal at least.

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