Energy 2.0

WAVE ENERGY AS A POTENTIAL RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCE

Posted on: June 23, 2008

At present most of the energy needs are met through fossil fuels & oil. Therefore developing countries are dependent on oil imports for their energy needs. At present there are about two billion people without access to electricity. Therefore there is an urgent need all over world to tap renewable energy sources. Total renewable energy sources account for 56 EJ of energy, almost 14% of the total world energy i.e. 401 EJ.

Wave energy

Waves in sea are generated by the action of winds blowing over water and can be used as a renewable source of energy. In fact sea could be viewed as a vast collector of energy transferred by wind over large sea. Surface and stored as wave energy. Wave energy potential varies from place to place depending upon its geographic location. Two factors affecting the magnitude of wave energy are wind strength & uninterrupted distance over the sea that the wind can blow.

 

Potential

The total wave power potential of the world is 2 x 106 MW. The tidal energy is wavering with 250 Kw available from December to March, 75 Kw between April to November and has peak value of 150 Kw. The economics of wave energy power, though not yet competitive with fossil fuels, are promising and the situation is improving with more advanced technology. Capital costs for 100 MW installation is $1200 to $1500/Kw with operating costs of 5 cents / Kwh & load factor around 20%. Estimated international cost for power from wave energy is around 9.2 C/KwH.

 

Current Status

The first commercial wave plant in the world, Limpet 500, was installed on the island of Islay, Scotland, in 2000 and has been providing power to the grid for U.K. The Limpet 500 is a 0.5 MW capacity plant for sitting on exposed shores, utilizing an oscillating column. design. In India 150 KW system is set at Thiruvananthpuram. The United Kingdom is said to be the dominant player in wave power with a forecast capacity of 14.7 MW. Portugal, Spain and Denmark are other significant markets but lag far behind U.K.

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