Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wave power

I came across this website that gives the following very clear and concise introduction of the state of the arts of harnessing wave power from the U.K.'s point of view, the concepts it advanced can certainly be applicable world wide:
On the edge of the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, the waters of the UK have some of the best wave climates in the world., In particular the west of Scotland, south west Wales and the south west of England are consistently exposed to very powerful waves. If the energy in these waves can be harnessed in a cost-effective and reliable manner, wave power could soon be helping to meet our growing energy needs.

Whereas the basic concept of taking energy from a fluid flow via a turbine rotor is well established for applications in hydro (rivers and streams) and wind power, development of wave energy conversion technologies is at a relatively early stage. No single technology has emerged as the best so far. However, there are two distinctive groups being developed: nearshore devices and offshore devices. While nearshore devices are easier to access and maintain, the greatest wave resource is offshore in deeper waters.

In the short term, nearshore devices are likely to lead the way as their relative ease of access is essential while technology is developing. However, in the long term it is likely that offshore devices will dominate if the more energetic deep water resource is to be accessed. There is, therefore, a lot of interest in developing concepts for offshore sites, and as a reflection of this, the number of different offshore concepts vastly outweighs those for nearshore.

Along with an optimistic note here:
The future of marine renewables is bright and exciting. Several demonstration projects are being planned in the coming years, and if these are successful, they will pave the way for wave and tidal power to play a big part in cutting CO2 emissions and meeting the UK's future energy needs.
What I am wondering is how long does it take for the religious environmentalists to start objecting their installations because they might disturb the life of sea turtles or something like that. May be that's why "renewable energy" so far is only a talking-point-ish cliche in U.S., no more no less. All power to wave power, but never mind about put it into practice!

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