I suppose technically it’s an estuary, the Humber Estuary. Have you heard of it? For millennia it has been a trading superhighway.
Our River has been the source of our wealth – communally speaking – and our reason for being here. With the decline of the fishing industry, the fish packing companies (Youngs is laying off agency staff, for example), and the inevitable decline in crude oil reserves that employ many locals – those who are able to get a job – the area must find a new direction.
The offshore wind farms that are planned for the near future – if ABP get out of the way and stop having tantrums about new docks being built that they don’t own – are a step in the right direction. They’ll provide power, the technology is becoming cheaper, and for Grimsby, a town that prides itself in its maritime prowess and history, a new future at sea.
A good start though I think the wind farms are, I believe we’re ignoring a vital link in our renewable energy plan, a link that will bring further prosperity; the river itself. The Humber has a strong current and we could use that energy. The river will always flow and the tide will always rise and fall, so it isn’t intermittent power. We even have two potential bases in the form of Haile Sands Fort and Bull Fort, although I understand Bull Fort is being renovated as a drug rehab facility.
We could make use of both tidal and wave energy, without resorting to a barrage, to generate energy. Of course both have their pros and cons, and a full environmental impact reports would have to take place before any work was done, but I think we’re missing a trick if we don’t at least consider it. Though both wave and tidal energy generation is still an area than needs research, the will is there to do the work.
Several years ago there were test done out in the river with a tidal energy generator but nothing much seems to have come of it; the University of Hull has been working on the technology need to make the energy producing systems better in recent years and is now something of a centre for wave and tidal power; perhaps we should have another go?
I’m going to leave you with a few more websites (really, read the links in the text, there’s more detail):
Remember, all the websites will have their biases, just like I do, but information is information and we’re grown ups, mostly, I think we’re all capable of discernment.
Bye, I’ve got books to finish reading and reviews to write. And a novel to work on.