By Anders Lorenzen
While Australia’s government are busy promoting their anti-climate agenda, in the background, in the state of Victoria, a promising wave energy project has been born.
A 62.5 megawatt wave power project will be built off the coast of Victoria using the PowerBuoy wave converter technology from Ocean Power Technologies. Once completed the project is expected to deliver electricity to 10,000 Australian homes.
Lockheed Martin who will manage this project says their design and system integration expertise have the potential to commercialise this promising and emerging alternative energy technology.
Australia have a target of 20% of their energy sources to be met by renewables by 2020, and as this project contributes to this goal, the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided funding for this project.
Globally, wave power has had a slow upstart, but this emerging renewable energy technology is starting to commercialise with several new projects announced in recent years.
Wave power has excited renewable energy enthusiasts for decades, but despite a countless number of research projects, stumbling blocks have been difficulties in converting the ocean waves into electricity.
If that stumbling block truly had been overcome now, this could prove an exciting development in the renewable landscape. It has several advantages over wind and solar, as unlike these resources which are intermittent, energy captured from ocean waves are a lot more predictable. Opponents of wind power say they are a blight to the landscape and that they’re too noisy. Ocean devices are much quieter than wind turbines and also a lot smaller making them barely visible.
But as wind power has now positioned itself as the number one renewable energy source, followed by solar, the key questions remain: if ocean power can overcome its technical difficulties and if it can be deployed at a scale similar to wind power, it can provide a real alternative for large scale renewable energy generation.
Sub edited by Charlotte Paton