LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

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

Friday, July 01, 2005

Ocean Energy Benefits Included in Senate Energy Bill

Thanks largely in part to the newly created trade association, Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, (full disclosure: I'm a founding member and CEO), the Senate Energy Bill contains several provisions for other renewable technologies that now apply to ocean renewables as well. These include making ocean energy eligible for the Department of Energy's renewable energy inventory and also for the Renewable Energy Production Incentive and federal mandatory purchase requirement. The real surprise - for the first time, ocean energy can qualify for production tax credits, a benefit that has really stimulated investment in the wind industry. For more details, visit the OREC Website or view this article at RenewableEnergyAccess.com.

If you're interested in the future of ocean energy in the country, please consider joining OREC as a member (again, visit website for details). There's still plenty of work to be done.

New Brunswick, Canada to Investigate Tidal Power Potential

As reported in

Tidal power wave of future?
(6/25/05),the province of New Brunswick is studying the feasibility of tidal power as a viable source of energy. According to the article:
Part of the study [note - the study will be conducted by EPRI] is just to look at the possible permitting of a test site and if there's the potential for someone within the province to manufacture the turbines," Energy Minister Bruce Fitch said.
New Brunswick has joined Nova Scotia and a number of American jurisdictions, spending $30,000 to find out whether it would make sense to install turbines on the seabed off New Brunswick's coast to generate electricity.

More news on the EPRI study and New Brunswick's participation is available

More Obstacles for Ocean Development

As if ocean renewable energy developers did not yet face enough obstacles, here's another - the Ocean Protection Act bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer and reported here in
President Bush and Sen. Boxer ocean bills conflict on fish farms
, Frank Hartzell, Beacon (6/23/05). According to the article, the bill is intended to address issues related to fish farms, but it goes further, apparently, prohibiting NOAA from issuing leases for wave energy plants or wind energy facilities until national standards are adopted. (It's not clear, however, what power NOAA currently has to issue permits or leases on the Outer Continental Shelf anyway). Imposing yet another restriction on the fledgling ocean renewable energy industry as Europe and other countries advance just doesn't seem like a very good idea.

Look at What Wave Energy Can Do For You

Renewable energy doesn't just mean clean air; in many cases, it means new jobs. This article, New Wave Energy Project to Create 40 Island Jobs (Herald, 6/17/05) offers a real life example of how ocean projects can stimulate local economies:

AROUND 40 jobs are expected to be created at the former fabrication yard at Arnish on Lewis, producing tube segments for the world's first commercial wave-farm project off the coast of Portugal. Camcal, the yard's operator, announced yesterday that it had been selected by Ocean Power Delivery (OPD) to fabricate the main tube segments for the Pelamis wave energy converter.
The project, to be located off Portugal's northern coast, will initially consist of three Pelamis P-750 machines.

Australian Wave Energy Pilot Moves Ahead

The deployment of Energetech's Port Kempla wave energy project continues in Australia as reported in
Calm conditions assist wave energy plant installation
(June 5, 2005). According to the article, it is hoped that the project will begin generating electricity into the grid - although an update at the Company's website mentions that the project was towed to port for additional modifications.

Doing Well by Doing Good

These days, there's growing interest in the financial world investment in renewables as reported in this article,
Time to clean up?
, Financial Times (6/22/2005). As the article reports:

Things are now looking very different. This month Novera listed on London's Alternative Investment Market, while the same day saw the flotation on the same market of Renova Energy, an American company that makes fuel from plants.
The two companies join a tiny but growing band of listed small and start-up entrepreneurial companies specialising in technologies that lower emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. So far, the sums raised by the two newly listed companies have been modest - Pounds 5.3m for Novera, Pounds 7m for Renova - but the growing interest of investors in the field they represent is bringing billions to renewable energy companies the world over. "The level of interest and awareness has gone up enormously," says Mr Scaysbrook.

The worldwide markets for three clean energy types - solar energy using photovoltaic systems which turn light into electricity; wind power; and fuel cells, which turn hydrogen or alcohol into electricity - were worth Dollars 9.5bn in 2002 and just over Dollars 16bn in 2004, according to research from Clean Edge, a research company. Equity investment in clean technologies - which include renewable energy such as wind and solar power and technologies such as techniques to capture and burn the gas generated by landfill waste - was worth Dollars 1.2bn in 2004 and accounted for around 6 per cent of total venture capital investment, according to the CleanTech Venture Network, which monitors investment in this area.

It is not just small companies that are investing in clean technology products. Last month General Electric surprised investors with the announcement of Ecoimagination, a project that will see GE double its investment in energy efficient and environmental technology to Dollars 1.5bn by 2010. Launching the project, Jeff Immelt, chief executive, said: "Our customers want a more prosperous, cleaner future . . . We are taking a new approach to solving some of our customers' toughest environmental problems."

It's not clear whether these companies are committed to a cleaner future or just see lucrative potential. But the article brings home the point that these days, the renewable industry is robust enough to allow investors to do well by doing good.

Monday, June 27, 2005

France Plans Wave Power Station

According to this
article from Forbes (6/20/05), Ocean Power Technologies LTD, a subsidiary of US company Ocean Power Technologies has signed an agreement with Total Energie Developpement SAS, a unit of Total SA, and Iberdrola SA to develop a wave power station in France. The article notes:

The company said the first stage of the project will involve the group identifying potential sites around the French coastline as well as gaining the necessary consents and permits. Once this is complete, a wave power station with a capacity of up to 2-5 MW will be installed in the second phase of the project.
In a separate statement, Total said it has bought a 10 pct interest in a pilot project offshore Santona, northern Spain, to develop ocean swell and wave power.