10% of Australian Wave Power Potential Could Provide One-Third of Nation's Energy Needs

australia beach with waves photo

photo: Jurek Durczack

It may not be nearly the ridiculously large potential claimed by geothermal power in Australia, but a new report commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation indicates that one-third of Australia's power needs could be met through wave power installation. Oh, did I mention that Carnegie Corp manufactures wave power-cum-desalination technology? I only say that in the spirit of full disclosure, not to necessarily cast doubt on the report findings. Carnegie says that even using "conservative" estimates yields an enormous underutilized power resource. Just how much power could be be pulled from the waves? Read on:Specifically, the report says that Australia has a total near-shore wave power potential of about 171,000 megawatts, or four times the nation's current installed power generating capacity. Assuming 10% of the calculated near-shore wave power resource can be extracted economically, that would still mean that about 35% of Australia's current power usage could be met by this resource.

image: Carnegie Corp.
How Does CETO Work?
Matter Network has as good a description as any of how CETO works:

Long columns -- multiple individual submerged units -- are anchored to the sea floor, and sway in unison with the motion of passing waves. The columns drive pumps, which in turn pressurize seawater that is delivered on-shore through a pipeline on the ocean floor. Each 125-unit Ceto farm can make enough power for 15,000 households.

image: Carnegie Corp.
Capable of Desalination or Power Production
Carnegie Corp. describes the advantages of CETO:

The CETO wave power converter is the first unit to be fully-submerged and to produce high pressure seawater from the power of waves.

By delivering high pressure seawater ashore, the technology allows either zero-emission electricity to be produced (similar to hydroelectricity) or zero-emission freshwater (utilising standard reverse osmosis desalination technology). It also means that there is no need for undersea grids or high voltage transmission nor costly marine qualified plants.

CETO units are fully submerged and permanently anchored to the sea floor meaning that there is no visual impact as the units are out of sight. This also assists in making them safe from the extreme forces that can be present during storms. They are self-tuning to tide, sea state and wave pattern, making them able to perform in a wide variety of wave heights and in any direction. CETO units are manufactured from steel, rubber and hypalon materials, all proven for over 20 years in a marine-environment.

More at :: CETO Wave Energy

via :: Sydney Morning Herald and :: Matter Network
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