Sunday, August 29, 2004

Power from the Sea

With wind power growing at record levels around the world (with 8,133 megawatts installed in 2003, according to the American Wind Energy Association and European Wind Energy Association) and solar power for home users becoming much more cost effective, other advances in renewable energy are taking place out of the spotlight. Generating electricity from the sea is not a new idea and past attempts have been riddled by failure, but a host of new efforts are underway, as described in this Wired News article, Seas Seen as Viable Power, by Stephen Leahy. A 486-ton wave turbine is being deployed off the coast of Australia, touted as the "first plant in the world to make wave energy commercially viable." The Department of Energy estimates that wave energy has the potential to produce 2 terawatts of electricity. That ought to keep a few electric toothbrushes humming.