Solar power … people know and dream about it.
Wind power … turbines sprouting up around the world …
Ocean power … bit by bit, emerging from the shadows …
Combining the three, will we hit the home run in the move to renewable energy?
The Aquo Buoy from Finerva Renewables has all three in one package … although the most critical, largest producing element is its approach to wave power.
According to a press release,
successfully completed a major milestone … deployment and commissioning of the AquaBuOY 2.0 wave energy converter [2.5 miles] off the coast of Newport, Oregon. … first installation of a wave energy converter of this scale off the west coast of North America … goal of commercial electricity generation from ocean waves by 2010.
Now the solar and wind are not meant for commercial power generation but for helping to power the diagnostic equipment. “This test data will be used for the next design iteration of the wave energy converter, with an anticipated deployment in 2008.”
The Company is advancing along its project development plan with the phased installation of a multi-device wave park and commercial electricity generation by 2010. The Company currently has wave energy projects totaling more than 250 megawatts (MW) planned or under development on the west coast of North America.
250 MW doesn’t eliminate coal-fired electricity … actually, it is just half of one typical coal plant. But, 250 MW from the sea from just one technology planned, a technology that is still in R&D.
And, well, it is a technology that is getting some attention … such as Beyond Wind and Solar in The Washington Post.
Finavera’s chief executive, Jason Bak, believes he knows how. The equipment his company designed, called AquaBuOY, aims to generate electricity from the vertical motion of waves. The buoy, anchored in an array two to three miles offshore, will convert the waves’ motion into pressurized water using large, reinforced-rubber hose pumps. As the buoy goes up the peak of a wave and down into its trough, it forces a piston in the bottom of the buoy to stretch and contract the hose pumps, pushing water through. This drives a turbine that powers a generator producing electricity, which would be shipped to shore through an undersea transmission line.
“This is the new source of power,” Bak said. “It’s the highest-energy-density renewable out there. Wind is like light crude oil, and water is like gasoline.”
“The new source of power …” Perhaps … but, how about a Silver Buckshot Pellet, perhaps even a Silver BB, in our fight to kill the inexorable growth of GHG emissions …
Hat tip to EcoGeek …