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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wave power in action

I noted a couple days ago that Air Force Academy starts doing research on wave energy. Then it was reported in seattlepi.com that Oregon State received a 5-year, $6.25 m grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to "establish an ocean energy research center in Newport, Ore." After totally ignoring wave energy by the powers that be in Washington D.C., these recent developments are certainly better late than never! But clearly the U.S. can only play a catching-up game now!

This CNN news today, "A new era for wave energy", tells that there's already fruition "with the inauguration of the world's first commercial wave power project off the Portuguese coast":

Developed by a Scottish engineering company, Pelamis Wave Power Limited, the Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) have been towed into position three miles off the coast of Agucadoura in north Portugal.

The first phase of the project is using three PWEC to generate 2.25 megawatts of power at a cost of nine million euros.

If successful, a second phase will see energy generation rise to 21 megawatts from a further 25 machines providing electricity for 15,000 Portuguese homes.

The project is a joint venture between Pelamis Wave Power Limited, Babcock and Brown Ltd -- a global specialist asset manager, Energias de Portugal (EDP) and Portuguese energy group EFACEC.

Named after the sea snake Pelamis, each machine measures 140 meters in length, is 3.5 meters wide and sits partially submerged in the sea.

Here's Youtube demonstration of how it works:


And here's a 4-step explanation I captured from this Youtube called "Wave power: how it works."


Of course because it was developed in Scotland and installed in Portugal, it should not be surp0rised to see this headline: "If Portugal can rule the waves, why not Scotland?" in NEWS.scotsman.com.

Well, indeed, for that matter, why not U.S.?

On the other hand, I can not help wondering how long will it take for the mighty environmentalist power center to voice objection to this kind of innovations because it might disturb sea turtle or some other things like it.

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