Not too long ago, Mat posted about the Searaser wave power generator—a device that uses the power of sea swells to pump water uphill and generate electricity on land.
At the time, Mat had some reservations about scalability (and the name!), but he suggested it might be one to keep an eye on.
From being like a drop in the ocean, the ocean being the national usage of electricity, tidal energy is set to become much more to the ultimate energy mix of the future. According to a recent Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy and the Assesment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States, the coasts offer a potential 15% input to the national grid by 2030, meaning 1,420 TWh annually out of 4,000 Twh produced.
A relatively new* type of reciprocating wave-powered electricity generator called Searaser has been developed and is moving forward. Searaser, acquired by Ecotricity, is not a typical wave power plant.
The first peculiarity is that it does not generate electricity out at sea. Due to the fact that waves move up and down in the ocean, they can continuously move a float attached to a reciprocating pump that can pump water through a water-powered onshore electricity generator for the sake of keeping the electrical parts of the system out of the water.
As Damian Carrington of The Guardian notes, its is a bit like an aquatic “bicycle pump.”
The UK’s climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today that South West England will soon be home to the country’s first Marine Energy Park. The park, once completed, will stretch from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly and will have the potential to generate 27 gigawatts of power from the waves and tides of the area by 2050 – the same amount of power generated by 8 coal-fired plants. The project will draw on public and private resources with a huge boost from the world’s leading wave energy research and development facilities located along the future Marine Energy Park’s coastline.
When you place something as large and complex as a tidal generator on the sea floor, there are always concerns about how it will affect the local ecosystem. This is what has been worrying environmentalists and the team at Marine Current Turbines – the creators of the SeaGen tidal turbine. However, this week, environmental consultancy Royal Haskoning officially gave the turbine the green light (pun intended).
France’s Alstom and Scotland’s SSE Renewables, on Jan. 17, announced the world’s largest ocean wave energy development project to date. The partners’ plan for the Costa Head Wave project calls for floating arrays of AWS Ocean Energy’s AWS-III wave turbines with total clean, renewable electricity-generating capacity as high as 200 megawatts (MW) to be installed in waters ranging from 60-75 meters (198-247.5 feet) deep about 5 kilometers off the coast of Orkney Main Island, according to a joint press release.
It will likely require three or more years of dedicated effort to get to the large-scale deployment stage, however. The Costa Head project will serve as the commercial proving ground for the full-scale, 2.5-MW AWS-III floating wave energy devices and AWS Ocean Energy system. A 1:9-scale prototype underwent testing at Loch Ness in 2010. Full-scale component testing is due to take place this year with support from the WATERS fund administered by Scottish Enterprise, and full-scale prototype testing is planned to take place at the European Marine Energy Centre in 2014.
The WaveRoller arrived on January 2nd at Portugal’s Peniche Shipyard for a much anticipated pilot test this summer off the coast of Portugal, one of the best testing sites in Europe for ocean energy. The scaled-up version for the pilot test is to be tested in the same waters near the sea shore of Peniche where its smaller prototype showed promise (Previous: WaveRoller Uses Swinging Door for Underwater Wave Energy.)
Wave energy involves very large machines that must survive harsh underwater conditions. Even this pre-commercial version weighs 280 tons, and the test has been financed by the European Commission.
Israel’s Eco Wave Power is just entering the second phase of proving its new wave energy harvest and conversion system that’s claimed to produce cheaper energy than existing coal-fired power plants. Energy is captured by the influence of rising and falling waves on two proprietary float designs called the Wave Clapper and Power Wing, which are installed on existing, stable structures. The floats are said to be capable of gathering energy from both high and low waves, which is fed through undersea cabling to a land-based power plant for conversion to usable electricity.
Canada’s hydropower industry has plans to invest up to $70 billion on hydro-electric projects across the country in the next 10 to 15 years, increasing its hydro-electric resources – to a truly staggering 88,500 MW.
Most of the additional projects are in provinces with abundant precipitation that is likely to increase in a warming future, making them ideal for hydropower. Hydro-electric power is much cleaner in cold climates than in warm ones, because methane emissions that are caused by rotting vegetation are lower in colder climates. Quebec is building another 4,570 MW, British Columbia: 3,341 MW, Labrador: 3,074 MW and Manitoba: 2,380 MW.
World’s Largest Hydropower Project Will Produce One-Third Of Africa’s Electricity, But Who Will Get It?
At double the size of China’s Three Gorges Dam, the 40 GW Grand Inga hydropower project, to be built on the Congo River under an agreement between the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, will be the world’s largest by a wide margin. It will increase Africa’s electricity generating capacity by one-third.
But as IPS News reports, as is unfortunately typical with many big-push style projects in the developing world, the local people will likely get little of the electricity produced by the Grand Inga.
Instead, the power transmission lines are expected to go towards mining and industrial facilities, towards the big cities in South Africa and Egypt, as well as possibly being exported to Europe.
The researchers are trying hard to find new renewable sources of energy everyday and finally they have come up with a new renewable source of energy. After solar, wind, and water power the newest form of producing energy is the electricity collected from the air coulds.
Termed as hygroelectricity it came up at the national meeting of the Amercian Chemical Society of findings by scientist Fernando Galembeck and colleagues at the University of Campinas (Brazil). Galembeck challenged the old theory of water vapor in the air being electrically neutral. Through a series of experiments he proved that Silica and aluminum phosphate that are commonly found in air in a very humid atmosphere it appears that the water vapor can hold an electrical charge and pass it to the particles. This invention came like a revolution and now the scientists are striving hard to make this hygroelectricity a reality with which the whole world can benefit.
Harnessing energy from the oceans involves a lot more than putting a generator in the water.
IBM Research today announced a project to monitor the impact of noise on marine ecosystems from a wave energy generator in Ireland. Done in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, its part of an ongoing SmartBay project to monitor the environment of Galway Bay with sensors and telemetry to advance ocean energy.
To monitor the acoustic impact of wave power, a generator from OceanEnergy in Ireland is equipped with audio sensors. Data from the sensors is fed continuously to IBM’s data centers for analysis with the goal of understanding noise levels and the effect on the local ecosystem.
Nature has unfathomable loads of passive energy, lying dormant in unknown territories. If prudently explored, these potential energy hubs can reduce our dependence on fossil fuel energy which is depleting at a rapid pace. At one point eventually “Time” will not give us a choice to rely on oil for energy, it will command us to switch over to renewable sources of energy or even other alternate sources of energy. A brief about a few of the alternate sources of energy is given below.
The quest for clean sources of energy have so far focused on wind and solar. These two forms of renewable energy have received research spending and time. All round the world, wind turbines and photo voltaic power plants are being built. However, there are other sources of renewable energy that could soon begin to look practical. Some of these, like wave energy, are more promising than the others. There is need, however, to also watch other technologies to see if any of these could help meet at least a part of the ever growing energy needs of humankind.
The world is going green and the technology developed these days is mainly focused on protecting environment and natural resources by using renewable energy resources. These energy resources are proving to be better alternative to fossil fuels and other kind of energy resources that pollutes and damages environment. These renewable energy resources can be sun that gives sunlight, wind, tides etc.
The existence and development of this renewable technology have provided a ray of hope to the normal people in the world who look for a clean and greener world. It’s all up to the citizens and government that can help in spreading this green electricity generation technology.