LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

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

Saturday, July 08, 2006

San Francisco Still Looking At the Tides for Energy

This article, Mayor's Idea: Catch a Wave to Make Power reports that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom hopes to make new waves for his city, with tidal and current energy projects that would be located under the Golden Gate Bridge and off Ocea Beach. Here's how the project developed, according to the article:
The ocean energy idea -- which already is taking hold in other parts of the world -- got its first strong push three years ago locally when Newsom's archnemesis, then-Board of Supervisors president and Green Party member Matt Gonzalez, won approval of a resolution calling for a tidal-energy power project.
After a couple years of serious study, the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute concluded: One: That San Francisco could tap enough wave power at Ocean Beach to keep the entire city lit -- depending, of course, on how large a wave plant it chose to build. And two: That the tides at the Golden Gate make that spot the best in the entire lower 48 states to produce tidal power, though the potential for installing turbine generators under the bridge is a bit limited by space.

Right now, the City is grappling with who will own the tidal power project and who will pay the $5 million to $7 million it will cost for this little experiment under the Golden Gate.

Renewable energy park will bolster Scottish economy

This article,
(6/29/06) shows what renewable eergy ca do to revitalize an economy. According to the article, a $1 million pound renewable energy park will use a redundant oil rig fabrication yard. When completed, the Park will
"inject more than £130 million into the economy, create several hundred jobs and generate more than £65 million of new investment for the Levenmouth area."
Read the article for more details on this exciting project.

UK Continues Moves Forward With Ocean Energy

This article,
UK Continues Energy Efforts into the Ocean
(6/27/06) from Renewable Energy Access reports on recent wave energy developmets in the UK. From the article:
A new chapter in the UK's search for a sustainable future has opened with the announcement of two new proposals for ocean energy research projects. One is an on-site wave energy project tapping the ocean's powerful swells as they make landfall, and the other, when completed, is a research center dedicated to energy research.

Hopefully, one of these days, we'll be able to issue a similarly exciting report on developments here in the U.S.

Still, despite the UK's efforts on wave, more wave power is needed to enable the UK to meet its goal for 20 percent of Britain's supply to come from renewable energy by 2020, according to this recent release by the Carbon Trust. A recent study said that offshore wind offered the potential to fill the gap caused by a reduction in coal and nuclear power, while if the UK gave wave energy better support it could develop an export industry worth up to £4 billion a year by 2050.

MMS Gathering Comments on Cape Wind and Programmatic EIS

MMS has been busy with activities relating to its Renewable Energy Program for the Outer Continental Shelf. As this article,
End nears for Cape Wind comment
(Cape Cod Times 7/5/06), MMS has taken over lead licensing responsibility for the Cape Wind Project from the Corps of Engineers and has sought additional comments on an MMS EIS.

And during May and June, MMS held a number of scoping sessions on a programmatic EIS on offshore renewables on the Outer Continental Shelf, as reported in this article (Cape Code Today, May 20, 2006). I was quoted as follows in the article:

Carolyn Elefant, CEO and legislative director of the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, told CCT she represents a small, year-old trade association of ocean energy technologies other than wind.

"We are representing about sixteen entities, including a few law firms and several companies or developers in some cases ready to proceed," Ms. Elefant said. "We have wave energy project developers from the UK, an American firm looking at marine current turbines (basically, an underwater, slow-moving rotating 'propellor' that harvests energy from ocean currents), and a very small project using small buoys that produce energy from wave motion."
"Our concern, and the reason we generally support the way MMS is going about its process, is that we have to be sure that potential offshore energy sites are licensed to the best use for that site," Ms. Elefant said.
"For example, if a technology used in a particular project can develop only five megawatts, and another technology at that site might produce more energy or involve less risk to the environment, we believe this should be taken into account when site licenses are granted," she said.

Sierra Club Suing Department of Defense to Speed Up Wind Projects

This article,
ierra Club sues Pentagon over wind farm delay (6/29/06) doesn't relate specifically to offshore wind, though it could. According to the article, the Sierra Club is suing the Department of Defense for failing to complete a study on the impact that several Midwest wind projects will have on military radar. In the absence of the studies, the projects cannot be permitted by the FAA. A AWEA spokesperson has this quote:
Concern over the outcome of the Defense Department study has created an ''uncertain situation'' for developers considering new wind farm projects, said Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association.