Tapping the Source: The Power of the Oceans

Big Gav, a regular contributor to The Oil Drum, posted this gem of an article on TOD yesterday and on Peak Energy today. (The Peak Energy version is the more readable link, IMHO) It is far too long to quote here, but an excellent primer for some of what’s happening out there. It’s just too bad that Big Gav, an Aussie, didn’t see fit to talk about New Zealand’s excellent wave and tidal resources!

7 Comments Posted

  1. There is one potential source of renewable energy that rarely gets a mention, partly because it falls between hydro power and marine energy. It is osmotic power generation
    http://www.statkraft.com/Images/Faktaark%20OSMOTIC%20ENG_tcm4-7797.pdf
    or
    http://www.statkraft.de/Images/Statkraft%20Osmotic%20Power_tcm4-5362.pdf

    The global potential is estimated to be 2000 TWh per annum, i.e. 2 million GigaWatt Hours/year, which I calculate to be around the equivalent of 250 1GW nuclear power plants.

    Trevor.

  2. What we do need is more people contributing to the Australia/NZ section of TOD, no matter what side of the ditch they hail from. (Perhaps I’m talking myself into some more work?)

    frog – we’d really like an NZ correspondent – even if you just mail me links for the regular news updates or ideas for posts.

    I try not to be completely Australia-centric, but its quite a lot of work trying to scan all the press given my various other commitments (Google news is obviously a great help of course)

  3. One of the reasons marine energy systems aren’t progressing much in New Zealand is that we have other cheap sources of energy including wind and geothermal, and these are being developed first since they are perceived as established technology and therefore low risk. Unfortunately gas and coal are also perceived as relatively cheap and available (for now) by some of the decision makers, so there isn’t as strong a push for diversified generation as there could be.

    Trevor.

  4. Trevor and Big Gav – As Gav mentions, there is very poor promotion of NZ’s resource in any of the literature. I myself have done a literature review on this topic and found it wanting. It was more a poke at the Australian lineage of the article than any real criticism. 😉 What we do need is more people contributing to the Australia/NZ section of TOD, no matter what side of the ditch they hail from. (Perhaps I’m talking myself into some more work?)

  5. Thanks for the links.

    I included as much info about NZ ocean energy as I could find. I even complained that the NZ ocean energy association didn’t list its members, and that a TVNZ article on ocean energy said there were a lot of players, but only mentioned one.

    If you’ve got more information (or pointers on where to find it) let me know – I’ll do a follow up one day looking in detail at Oz and NZ resources and opportunities for adding more clean energy to our generation capacity from the ocean…

  6. Both links include reference to possible tidal power generation in New Zealand, mentioning Kaipara harbour, French pass etc.

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