LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Ocean Energy Project on Display in Museum

Ocean energy doesn't seem sufficiently old or historic to warrant display in a museum, yet according to this article here, there's an ocean energy project include in a Smithsonian Best of American Design exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. the project, described as a "wave energy" garden and conceived by Yusuki Obuchi is described as follows:

Envisioned for the Southern California coast to replace a nuclear power plant, "Wave Garden" would float like a giant quilt on 480 acres of ceramic pods, generating electricity from the Pacific's waves. When generators shut down on weekends, the 1,734 pods -- each 3 inches thick -- would rise just above the ocean's surface to form lagoons for swimmers and boaters.

It's nice for an ocean project to be recognized in an exhibition, but let's hope that eventually, wave technology will be put to commercial use and not be confined to museum displays.

Ocean Projects for Africa

Up until today, this blog has reported on ocean projects on all continents except Antarctica and Africa. But now, there's news of proposed ocean projects for Africa, as reported in Research Centre to Look at Greening the Desert, Maggi Barnard, The Namibian (Oct 8, 2003). According to the article, the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre of the University of Namibia (Unam) wants to promote research and development activities through the sustainable and responsible utilisation of the country's under-utilised marine and coastal resources." The Centre's research program will six areas of ocean and coastal development, including aquaculture, cultivation of mushrooms along the coast and development of renewable resources such as wave energy projects.

New Tidal Invention from Canada

This article,
Inventors See Waves As Energy Source
, Moira Baird, The Telegram (10/6/03) reports on a wave energy conversion device invented by a pair of post-secondary graduates. Not surprisingly, the pair's biggest obstacle is money — both to patent the idea and to develop a practical prototype for testing.

Wind Power Can Ease Gas Shortages

This article from Solar Access entitled
Wind Power to Alleviate Winter Gas Shortage
(October 6, 2003) summarizes a recent report that New England will soon face natural gas shortages - which can potentially be alleviated by renewable energy from wind - such as the Cape Wind project.

Wind Farm Proposed For Off New Jersey Coast

This article,
Windmill Generator Plants Proposed Off Jersey Coast
, Newsday (October 6, 2003) reports on proposals by several companies to construct wind farms off the New Jersey shore. For example, the state Board of Public Utilities recently awarded a $300,000 grant to a wind power company, Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp., of Richmond, Va., to study the feasibility of offshore wind energy projects. And in another proposal, In another proposal, the Bald Eagle Power Co. Inc., a New York firm, seeks to build a 400-foot data-gathering tower at each of nine sites off Belmar, Monmouth Beach and Long Island, N.Y., and two demonstration wind farms off Long Island. The project's wind turbines would convert wind energy into electricity, which will be used to make hydrogen that would be shipped to shore for use as energy, Bald Eagle explained.

Finally, amid this proposed development, the state Department of Environmental Protection began work on an Ocean Resources Management Plan about two years ago and expects to have recommendations on managing ocean resources, including wind energy, by March. It remains to be seen how these proposed projects will fit with the DEP's work plan.

Britain's Power Struggle With Wind

Even as Britain continues to pursue offshore wind project (see here for example), opposition to the project also grows as reported in Power Struggle , The Observer (Oct. 5, 2003) . According to the article, wind power:

what was heralded as a green solution to Britain's energy crisis has thrown up a series of new controversies in some of the country's most beautiful areas. The scale of development...is dividing local communities as protest groups fight to save their landscapes, setting themselves against those welcoming new jobs and the rents wind farms bring to poor rural communities.
The bitterness of those battles is epitomised by the animosity that the giant wind farms are already bringing to the remote and beautiful Outer Hebrides - an area that has high levels of rural poverty.
It's being hailed as our salvation,' says Mary, an islander. 'But it will destroy us. We're a remote community and we do have economic problems, but wind farms won't solve them. We're getting 500 turbines at least 330ft high. Forget saving nice views for hill walkers. This is industrialisation on a scale I can't even imagine.

The article cites other grim information on wind, such as studies that purportedly show that wind plants result in large bird kills and comments that wind cannot survive without continued large subsidies.