Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 1 decade ago

Can any energy "harvested" from rotation of the earth?

Can energy harvested from the rotation of the earth. I don't mean wind power. Just the energy from the rotational inertia of the earth.

If we are able, would the earth's spin slow down as we use more and more of it?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. There are some almost practical generators of electricity that take advantage of the tides which are a consequence of the earth's rotation and the presence of the moon. Several small islands off of Maine use them, as well as other areas. The University of Hawaii has done, is doing, a lot of work trying to get electricity out of tidal flows.

    The underlying problem for tidal generators is they interfere too much with their surroundings and so far are not very cost effective.

    In theory using the tide will convert the earths rotational momentum into some else and the earth's spin will slow down. In fact this is already happening just from the moons gravitational drag and can be measured. Paleontologists using horn coral from million of years ago have shown that the earth's year used to have more than 400 days in it.

    Source(s): Geologist, interested in the problem of tidal energy production
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