Ever sit by the ocean, and watch a buoy or a seagull bob up and down without end? The energy it
takes to move all that water up and down is massive. Prevailing winds,
temperature differentials, strong weather and even the rotation of the
Earth all contribute to the never-ending crash of waves against the
shore, and viewed from a certain perspective, that's a lot of energy
going to waste:
The World Energy Council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts (2 million megawatts), about double current world electricity production, could be produced from the oceans via wave power. It is estimated that 1 million gigawatt hours of wave energy hits Australian shores annually and that 25% of the UKâ€™s current power usage could be supplied by harvesting its wave resource.
The image above shows average yearly wave-power energy in various parts of the world in kilowatts per METER!
The same ocean currents that fueled the economic growth of the 18th and 19th centuries may now help power the countries that prospered as a result - with the best sites in the world lying off the shores of developed countries, look for this alternative energy to (I can't help myself) make some waves in the coming years. Scotland, Portugal, Australia and Hawaii already have installations underway or in place, and feasibility studies are being undertaken by Spain, Norway, USA and New Zealand.
written by Hun Boon, June 15, 2007
written by Andrew Pritchard, June 15, 2007
written by Carolyn, June 18, 2007
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