Australia Invests in World’s First Utility-Scale Wave Power Project


A UK-based renewable energy company has received a $61 million grant from the Australian government to build the world’s first utility-scale wave power project.

Ocean Power Technologies will begin construction of the 19-megawatt project in the waters off Victoria in 2010. The project will provide enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.

Wave technology uses buoys riding up and down on waves to drive an electrical generator, and then sends the power ashore via underwater cable.

The project is part of a larger $218 million government investment in renewable energy that officials say will help Australia meet its goal of generating 20 percent of its electricity demands with renewable sources by 2020.

The other projects receiving government funds include two geothermal projects and a mini-grid that coordinates wind, solar, biodiesel and storage technologies.

Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360

[photo credit: hippolyte photography]

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1 Comment

  1. Dan Zaslavsky on

    Clean Tech Blog – Clean Mar. 26, 2011

    Response to the brief note: “Australia Invests in World’s First Utility-Scale Wave Power Project”

    The idea to use the so called: “ocean power” which is made of tides, streams and waves, is seen very often. There are many claims for “bright” mechanical ideas how to do it etc. Besides criticizing the methods and the economic justification, there are reasons enough to justify a strict low against it.

    A. Sea streams and waves help entering oxygen into the water, which is essential to most of the biological activity.

    B. They rise up from deeper water essential nutrients.

    C. This mixing is absolutely necessary for storing the solar heat in deeper water without which there will be no rain. Research in many sites have shown a correlation of 60%-70% between the water temperatures to a depth of 100-150 meters in the fall to the rains in the following winter.

    D. Somewhat cooler water of the Top Layer in the summer and warmer water in the winter would save a lot of energy for adjusting the home climate.

    E. Finally, note that the sea waves are produced by energy transmitted by shear from the wind and it does not exceed about 1% of the wind energy. So why not using directly the wind and not the waves?

    Best Wishes,

    Prof. Dan Zaslavsky

    Technion–Israel Institute of Technology

    Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Technion City, Haifa 32000


    Tel: 972-4-8232319 ; 8292746

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