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Wave Energy

Surface waves and pressure variations below the ocean’s surface, if harnessed, can generate power. Floating buoys, platforms, or submerged devices, can also be used to generate electricity.

Wave power is a type of ‘marine’ or ‘ocean’ power, electricity generation that uses the oceans’ tides, currents or waves to produce electricity. Power is generated from the constant movement of the water, either the changes in height of the tides, the ocean’s current or the waves themselves. Different technologies adopt different methods for harnessing the ocean’s energy, however, the most common oceanic power generation system uses a turbine to drive an electrical generator.

With its extensive coastline, the NSW Far South Coast region has the potential to harness energy from surface waves and from pressure variations below the ocean’s surface. Preliminary studies suggest that up to 600MW of installed wave generating capacity may in fact be available[1]. There are a number of wave energy projects at various phases of deployment around Australia including at Eden in the region’s south east corner. Here, ocean monitoring is being carried out to ascertain the location’s capacity for a wave energy technology known as CETO – where energy is produced by exposing submerged buoys to wave motion that drive seabed pumps to propel pressurised water through hydroelectric turbines. The project proponent, Carnegie Wave Energy, has recently installed the world’ s first grid-connected, commercial scale CETO system along the Western Australian coast to deliver green power to the HMAS Stirling naval base located on nearby Garden Island[2].

[1] The Climate Institute, Clean Energy Jobs Roadmap and Snapshot, South Coast, 2012.

[2] http://www.carnegiewave.com/?url=/projects/perthproject

Information above from a variety of sources including: www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

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