Cleantech is reporting that the Tel Aviv, Israel-based wave power and desalination company SDE has signed a 25-year agreement with an African country to develop 100 megawatts worth of wave power projects. The cost of the projects is expected to be about $100 million, with potential revenue from the electricity in the $1 billion range.
Sounds great right? But here’s where the ambiguity comes in:Africa Has Quite A Bit of Coastline...
According to Cleantech, SDE is in talks with investors to get the financial guarantees needed to move the project(s) forward. And SDE won’t name the African country with which it has signed the agreement, only describing it as being a Muslim country.
OK. Of the nations in Africa with Islam as the state religion and which have a coastline, who could it be? Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia (not likely without a functioning government), Somaliland. Tanzania has a large Muslim population....
Not Doubting That It Can Be Done, But the Presentation is All Wrong
I could go on, but the idea isn’t really to be energy sleuth here, just to question SDE’s judgement in making this sort of announcement.
It just doesn’t inspire much confidence to say that you will be developing wave power projects so far in excess of similar projects which have already been completed—the few existing commercial wave power projects are in the single megawatt range—and then fail to disclose exactly where they will be built (except the continent) and that the funding is essentially up in the air.
Wave power is certainly an under-utilized resource, but this isn't the way to put it in front of the public gaze.
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