hydrokinetic systems

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Hydrokinetic Power is the Next Wave in Cheap Energy

In an era of cheap capital, emerging technology companies could provide investors the biggest bang for the buck we've seen in years.

The key is finding a market that already has billions of dollars in pent up demand - like cheap energy.

Of all the cheap alternatives available to us today, I'm most excited by hydrokinetic power systems for the simple reason that the oceans contain enough energy to potentially support more than 50% of US demand alone, according to the US Department of Energy.

In case you are not familiar with the term, hydrokinetic systems produce power from the water's kinetic energy. It's quite literally power from the motion in the ocean.

Critics charge there are limits involved because the technology we need to make, transmit and store wave-based energy is primitive and prohibitively expensive.

And they're right... it is, or at least has been to date.

That's why despite years of effort and billions of dollars in government-sponsored financing, there are a mere 5 megawatts of wave-generated energy being created worldwide.

According to Forbes Magazine, that's only enough to light 4,000 U.S. homes.

Yet studies estimate that two-thirds of the world's economically feasible hydropower has yet to be exploited. Perhaps not surprisingly, much of this untapped energy is concentrated in South America, Asia and Africa.

That's my kind of opportunity - but it will require a sea change in our thinking (pun absolutely intended).

The Rising Tide in Hydrokinetic Power

That's because traditional "alternative" power choices tend to evolve in terms of how applications like solar, hydro, thermal and gas production ties into the grid. As such, they're dependent on environmental variables that come and go.

On the other hand, hydrokinetic systems really are the grid. By placing turbines, bobbers and impellers into large bodies of water, they become part of the very system they're tapping into.

And it's a whopper of a system.

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