Paris powers up the Seine with hydrokinetic energy

The City of Light aims to make renewable energy fashionable, with the help of its famous river. Paris asks power companies to design turbines to capture the Seine's currents.
Written by Melissa Mahony, Contributor

Earlier this month, I discussed new efforts to tap the flowing energy of American rivers (see: Hydrokinetic energy on the Mississippi). Apparently, in-stream hydrokinetic power is en vogue elsewhere, as Paris now seeks to do the same with its famously romantic river, the Seine.

This week the City of Paris is asking power companies to devise river-current capturing schemes in four places: Pont du Garigliano, Pont de la Tournelle, Pont Marie and Pont au Change. The French capital plans to then place two turbines, or hydroliennes, at each location.

Interestingly, while some have ambitiously reported that hydrokinetic energy might one day power all of New Orleans (once a French city itself), the Parisians seem to be dabbling in the in-stream tech as more of an educational effort.

Denis Baupin, deputy mayor of Paris, tells the The Guardian:

We're not expecting the moon and the stars with these techniques, but the educational impact of these experiments is just as important. Vélib [Paris's free bicycle scheme] has made Parisians realise they can use cycles in the city, and these renewable energy schemes will make them aware of the need to watch what they consume.

Just how much the turbines will affect the Parisian consumer psyche is unknown, as is the number of kilowatt hours the Seine's current might produce while passing through them. But in the hopes of installing the 8 hydroliennes by spring 2011, the city is asking for proposals to be submitted by fall.

They will announce the winner in January. Bonne chance!

Via: The Guardian
Image: Flickr/D. [SansPretentionAucune] (•̪●) ✪

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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