LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

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

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Cape Wind on Scotland?

Will Scotland face its own mini-version of the Cape Wind saga? Take a look at this article,
Lewis wind farm may fail wildlife legal test
(12/10/04) and see what you think.

How to Manage the Ocean

I've always believed that offshore permitting issues generate so much controversy simply because the ocean accomodates such a range of uses, including recreation, fishing, transportation and potentially energy. Thus, the ocean environment differs from the places that energy projects are typically sited, e.g., remote locations or in industrial areas. That's not to say that the ocean can't accomodate renewable energy projects - in fact, in my view, those projects would help promote best comprehensive use of the waterway (to paraphrase the standard in Section 10 of the Federal Power Act). In any event, this article, Forum asks, how manage new multiple ocean uses? , Joel Gallob (12/10/04), the first in a series, examines some of the issues involved in current ocean management and how those may affect offshore renewable development.

Public Speaks Up on Cape Wind

Three hundred and fifty people turned out for the first of several public hearings that comprise part of the Corps of Engineers' review process for Cape Wind as reported in
Cape Wind Hearing Draws Hundreds; People of the Island Speak with Passion
(12/10/04). The article summarizes the polarized views of project supporters and opponents.

Moratorium on Offshore Wind in New Jersey

On December 6, 2004, New Jersey governor Codey proposed a one year moratorium on offshore windmills as reported in Codey to block energy windmills in ocean for a year (12/9/04) and now, as reported Codeyhere, the legislature will consider a bill that would impose a seven year moratorium. The purpose of the Governor's ban was to give the state time to develop a policy on offshore wind, but Senator Kyrillos, the bill's sponsor, believes that even more time is needed. Many environmental groups oppose the moratorium because it attaches a stigma to offshore wind proposals.

A Bright Outlook on the Future of Offshore Renewables

Ocean consultant Tony Jones believes that the future for marine renewables is bright which he discusses in this opinion piece,
Offshore Renewable Energy Development
, Renewable Energy Access, (12/5/04). With respect to offshore wave, Jones describes the growth of the industry and contends that it will grow even more in the US when regulatory uncertainty is resolved and the US can perform assessments of the resource. With respect to wave energy, Jones concedes that it lags behind offshore wind but is coming along. The problem, however with wave energy is:

Limited financial resources, in many cases, hamper launch of technology as the sector is dominated by small and medium enterprises. However, towards the end of the decade, developers will negotiate and plan larger-scale projects based on proven technology, which are unlikely to see installation after 2010. At that time, wave energy farms could begin to emerge. When devices reach this advanced stage, the prospect capacity will begin to rocket. Over time, the initial high costs of development and research will level out, and individual technologies will become more cost effective. Once a device is established, serial production will result in much lower costs. At this stage, there are several devices that have very promising electricity generation costs forecast that would further benefit their commercial success.

Let's see what 2005 holds for marine renewables.

High School Student Wins Top Prize for Ocean Device

Aaron Goldin, whom we posted about here has won top prize in the Siemens-Westinghouse high school science competition for a wave energy device as reported in this story at MSNBC. Unfortunately, the $100,000 prize will go to Mr. Goldin's college. Too bad that it can't be used to actually develop Goldin's device because with the current state of affairs in wave energy development, the project may never be built. Of course, $100,000 isn't much or nearly enough - but quite frankly, it's more than what's available to any US wave energy developer at this time.