The 'green' lobby moan about the rising sea level world wide so why not desalinate sea water after using it to power Water Turbines, this is a discussion that affects everyone. It is possible that a single water turbine can replace several wind turbines which reduces cost and use of materials in construction so why procrastinate about using the oldest designs such as water wheels in streams or rivers. Modern design of a water wheel could blend into the existing landscape far more effectively than a 75-100 meter wind turbine.
So many wind turbines are being sited offshore they will become a danger in heavy weather not only for wildlife but ships and pleasure craft as well.
The smaller picture shows the effect of heavy seas on the bows of a ship, imagine how that force works on static forms like wind turbines up to 350 feet high
The author is a marine engineer who specialised in turbines from small gas turbines to 'Coal Dust' fired gas turbines and of course steam turbines. Also a specialist in Fluid Sealing Technology including patents for sealing piston rods of 2Stroke Crosshead Diesel Engines and had articles published in International Maritime press covering the subjects of Sealing of Marine Pumps including Cargo Pumps and introducing 'Environmental Controls' to prevent total failure in cargo pump rooms and engine rooms. The marine industry has always striven to ensure the shipboard waste and leakages are maintained within the vessel and not allowed to be dumped in the sea. The Sealing of ships machinery has improved beyond recognition from the early days of 'greasy rope or old socks' shoved into the pump stuffing box, and as vessel dry-docking's are extended then the use of Cartridge Seals on marine pumps has also increased operating life of marine pumps in all sections of ships where Cartridge Seals can be employed. Water wheels come in many shapes and forms and the picture bottom left shows water deflected into a trough to drive the 'Wheel', the similarity can be seen with the power generation wheel to the right. When sea water is the main drive medium then it is possible to locate a desalination plant to produce water for irrigation purposes, in this way two things can be accomplished 1) keep sea levels down; 2) remove the threat of drought for anywhere in the world.
Even the smallest of waterfalls can enable a water turbine to operate and produce clean water that will not pollute the atmosphere or be an eyesore for visitors. It would be possible in a situation of this kind to build the 'Power Station' in a boat shed almost and the area be it a national park or tourist site could be self sufficient in power.
Even in the wilderness it is possible to have electricity that is independent of the Power Companies without causing any damage to nature or the environment and does not even need to be an enormous installation. At times it is necessary to use a rise and fall lift to heighten the generator from a stream in flood but this would not be essential if the unit housing is of sufficient strength to protect the unit from saturation. The actual generator end can be in a sealed unit with rotary seal unit to protect the void to electric units.