Hydro-Mills This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Hydro-electric dams, windmills, geothermal turbines and solar panels represent just a few ways in which humans may harness nature's power to generate the energy necessary to maintain our increasingly technology-oriented society. Although cars and trucks remain primary contributors to greenhouse gases, the world's innumerable power plants and factories are just as much to blame for the depletion of the earth's ozone and the widening of the holes in this protective blanket over the earth's Northern and Southern Poles.

Currently industry in the United States has had no real reason to seek out and effectively develop alternate power sources as those aforementioned because it is simply cheaper to continue utilizing fossil fuels for their electrical needs. However, it is quite obvious that at some point (most likely soon), we will run out of these resources and be forced to turn to alternate energy sources. The one difficulty is, however, that not every region has a geothermal vent next door to power a turbine, a constant supply of sunlight for solar energy, or even a steady wind for windmills. Each area will have to discover its own particular method of harnessing nature's power.

Growing up in a coastal community, I have witnessed first-hand the awesome power of the ocean and feel that, for similar regions, this vast resource could be utilized to generate a large portion of the energy we use. My idea is to design a device similar to a windmill to capture the motion of the perpetual ebb and flow of the tides to produce energy.

These "hydro-mills" could be placed in areas (near the mouth of a river) where the constant pull of the tides is particularly strong. One would not have to worry about the possibility of a wind-less, sun-less day because the ocean's tides run like clockwork. "Hydro-mills" could easily be marked off by special buoys to warn boats of their presence.

As the world's demand for energy continues to increase, communities will have to become creative to develop innovative ways to meet power needs. For coastal regions, where land is limited, it only makes sense to turn to the ocean as a resource not only for fun, pleasure, and food, but also for energy. I feel that a "hydro-mill" would be the perfect harness for the limitless, non-polluting power of the sea. ^


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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