Japan Is Dropping a Gargantuan Turbine Into The Ocean to Harness 'Limitless' Energy

Hell yes, this is exactly the kind of clean energy project I'm here to see.

Here's how it works:

The 330-ton prototype is called Kairyu, a word that translates more or less into 'ocean current'. Its structure consists of a 20 meter (66 foot) long fuselage flanked by a pair of similar-sized cylinders, each housing a power generation system attached to an 11 meter long turbine blade.

When tethered to the ocean floor by an anchor line and power cables, the device can orient itself to find the most efficient position to generate power from the push of a deep-water current, and channel it into a grid.

The Kairyu prototype from IHI.

Japan is, unfortunately, not able to take advantage of a lot of traditional means to generate clean electricity. Due to the terrain, it cannot host wide swaths of wind turbines. Due to population density, it cannot sustain fields full of solar. With public sentiment souring on nuclear power thanks to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan is able to take advantage of their position in the Pacific ocean.

You've successfully subscribed to Stephen Bolen
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.