In a surprising twist along the tranquil waters of the Shannon River in Limerick city, a seemingly ordinary vessel has taken on a remarkable role in the pursuit of clean and sustainable energy. This unassuming unit is, in fact, a hydrokinetic energy converter, a groundbreaking technology at the heart of the +CityxChange Project.

Unlike traditional methods of harnessing energy from rivers, the hydrokinetic energy converter operates without the need for dams or extensive civil infrastructure. What's more, it offers the flexibility of being easily relocated or removed, making it a versatile solution for various locations.

Above the water's surface, one might only spot a low-profile platform, concealing the electrical equipment that powers the unit. But beneath the water's surface lies the magic: two vertical-axis hydrokinetic turbines, quietly turning and generating predictable, locally sourced energy from the natural kinetic movement of the flowing water.

At full capacity, the 12kW unit currently on display can generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 17 Irish homes, providing a glimpse of its potential. In remote communities with lower energy demands, a single turbine has the capacity to power an entire village comprising 80 to 90 homes.

This remarkable showcase of innovation is part of the +CityxChange initiative, an EU-funded smart cities project jointly led by Limerick and Trondheim, Norway. The overarching goal of this project is to create sustainable urban ecosystems with zero emissions and to establish a 100% renewable energy city-region by 2050. The hydrokinetic turbine demonstration aims to underscore the vast untapped energy potential within our free-flowing waterways, including rivers, canals, estuaries, and tidal streams. It also seeks to prove that this energy can be harnessed with minimal negat

Read more: Limerick demonstrates unique way to generate clean, reliable energy from free-flowing water - Limerick Live (limerickleader.ie)