Green energy and #wavepower

Baseload is a word that’s bandied around a lot when proponents of fossil fuel energy plants talk about green energy. Essentially, the argument states that modern, technological states require reliable energy to thrive. This, they say, cannot be provided by green energy sources such as solar and wind because neither is available all the time.

There is some truth to that argument, and until reliable green energy storage becomes available – e.g. massive batteries of some kind – we will need some form of regular energy production. But…that regular energy production need not be from coal or nuclear. Geothermal has been around for a while but while it’s reliable, it isn’t necessarily cheap. This is where wave power could provide the magic bullet that finally weans us away from fossil fuels.

Wave power technology harnesses the constant rise and fall of ocean waves to turn the generators that actually create the energy we need. The technology is not free, but once in place, the driving force behind it is. Better still, that driving force – ocean waves – is constant. Some days may see more energy generation than others, but the waves never completely stop. And that’s important because that minimum level of power generation can be calculated and used.

The new wavepower plant built in Gibraltar [read the Gizmag article for full details] may be small, but it’s cost effective now and can be added to in the future.

Wavepower in Gibraltar

Wavepower in Gibraltar

Congratulations to Gibraltar for taking a small step towards greening the planet. Hopefully one day, all countries with access to an ocean will harness wavepower for their own energy needs.

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

11 responses to “Green energy and #wavepower

  • Josh Flory

    Interesting stuff, definitely makes me feel more optimistic about the future. They’re currently trialling this technology in Perth as a way of generating green energy for use by the defence force, and also to produce desalinated water. Would be great to see it’s use in other States in the near future.

    With regard to windfarms, I recently learnt an interesting fact from a buddy of mine studying science. Apparently in certain areas they’ve been highly detrimental to native bird species. In Tasmania for example, they’re problematic as many Wedge Tailed Eagles have been killed in collisions with them. This is not to say that I agree with Abbott’s stance, or am against the use of windfarms, but an interesting fact nonetheless.


    • acflory

      Hey! Welcome 🙂 And thanks for that info about wavepower. Given the sorry state of our innovation the last few years, I’m delighted that WA is doing something clever AND green. As the largest island on earth, and with most of our population centres hugging the coastline, wavepower seems like such an obvious choice. Then again my ‘obvious’ and a politician’s ‘obvious’ probably aren’t one and the same.:(
      Sorry to hear that wedgetails are being hurt. I guess they can’t avoid what they can’t see, but it still surprises me a little as windfarms produce a soft but audible ‘hum’ that should warn them away. Perhaps windfarms could be sited in less problematic areas. A small trade-off in convenience [for us] but life for the birds.
      I’m always on the lookout for tech and climate change info. so if you come across anything please let me know. -hugs-


  • EllaDee

    A drop in the ocean… somebody stop me 😉 … compared to the rethinking necessary on power generation and consumption but dog paddling in the right direction.


  • dvberkom

    Love this! It’s truly amazing that we’re not farther along on the renewable energy road (ok, maybe not so amazing–there’s too much money invested in the old sources, and by God the companies are going to make sure that every last ounce of oil, coal, etc. are squeezed from the earth). But it’s not only the energy companies. When I lived in Arizona, arguably the sunniest spot in the US, the city of Scottsdale prohibited solar panels on rooftops for “aesthetic” reasons. Blech. Talk about unbelievably short-sighted and stoopid 😦


    • acflory

      Aesthetic reasons?????? Gah. Then again, I can’t talk. We had a Prime Minister who was against wind farms for the same reason. Stupidity knows no borders. 😦


  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    It’s a great idea for those on the ocean. Inland we need other sources such as wind and solar, as well as geothermal. I would have solar panels on my roof it there were a reasonable way of storing that energy.AS yet the cost is prohibitive.


    • acflory

      Yes, I think a good mix of renewables is the way to go. I have solar on my roof because for a few years, we were receiving rebates from the government to install them, plus earning a decent amount for putting energy back into the grid. This was under our equivalent of your Democrats. -shrug- It was so popular the power companies kicked up a huge stink so guess what happened to people power?


  • Candy Korman

    I hope this “turns the tide” on sustainable energy. (Pardon my pun, I could not resist it.) The time for dithering over energy choices is running out.


    • acflory

      -giggles- Nice one and yes, I hope so too. We’re having one of the driest autumns on record which does not bode well for the next fire season. But of course all of that is just ‘natural variation’…..-snort-


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