Production of the first commercial scale wave power has taken place in Western Australia:
Installation of the CETO system has taken place offshore from Australia’s largest naval base on Garden Island in Western Australia. The final step, the connection of the buoyant actuator (‘BA’) to the balance of the CETO system, occurred over the weekend. The system was immediately energised and is producing hydraulic power exactly as expected.
Carnegie’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano said,
“This is the most significant milestone in Carnegie’s history and follows more than 5 years of in-ocean testing of scale CETO prototypes. It now allows us to plan our project pipeline roll out with confidence. Carnegie’s CETO technology was already the only wave technology to have produced desalinated water; it is now the only commercial scale wave unit ever deployed and operated in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.”
With the mainstream press debating the pros and cons of a carbon tax, major break throughs in green energy hardly rate a mention.
This week over in the West the first commercial scale wave power unit in the Southern Hemisphere is meeting all expectations.
Unlike solar and wind energy which, due to their intermittent nature, are primarily suited to peak power supply, a number of factors favour wave energy as part of an energy portfolio including:
- the inherent reliability and predictability of wave activity;
- the fact that any variability in wave activity happens gradually and with significant warning, making issues of grid interfacing manageable; and
- the proximity of favourable wave energy sites to ultimate end users, thereby minimising transmission issues. Notably, approximately 60% of the world's population lives within 60 kilometres of a coast.
The World Energy Council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts (2 million megawatts), about double current world electricity production, could be produced from the oceans via wave power. It is estimated that 1 million gigawatt hours of wave energy hits Australian shores annually and that 25% of the UK's current power usage could be supplied by harvesting its wave resource.
Wave energy has significant global potential with North and South America, Western Europe, Japan, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand among some of the best wave energy sites around the world.
Surely it is time to get on with the job. Rather than debating carbon tax we should be investing in alternative energy, instead of a two speed economy (miners doing well everyone else struggling) we should be rolling out technology such as this. Projects like this create jobs in regional areas and massively reduce our use of fossil fuels.
We have the knowhow – let’s get on with job. No more delaying tactics like a debate on carbon tax!