Going Green

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Power of the Waves

Following is a link to an interesting article in "Technology Review" published by MIT. It is concerning the harnessing of wave action to produce electricity utilizing an artificial polymer "muscle." The claims are that this technology could eventually rival wind turbine energy production. Today the technology remains in the developmental stage.

Harvesting Power from the Ocean
A new technology could generate electricity from waves.

As we move forward in the production of energy from new technology, great care should be taken in where such projects are located. Unlike oil and gas production which is tied to the location of recoverable deposits, power generation by wave technology is not as restricted. Certainly wave height and form are a consideration, but aesthetic and recreational issues must also be considered as well as the local ecology, transmission efficiency and shipping. The wave fields should be located as near as possible to major metropolitan areas while at the same time avoiding the constriction of shipping lanes. I also am concerned about disruption of fragile ecological areas. With the knowledge learned from oil and gas production and the consequent impact on the environment, we have the opportunity to take a proactive approach to creating a balance between the need for alternative energy sources and conservation of natural resources. This does not mean preservation at the expense of energy. It implies sustainability. Perhaps energy "zoning" might be in order.


Ranando said...

Well, I can tell you first hand that waves have an unbelievable amount of energy, you can feel it.

I just hope I never surf into one of these contraptions.

bigwhitehat said...

I have my doubts. There are so many cons to weigh when you consider harnessing this energy. There is the corrosive nature of the ocean and many mechanical complications.

I just don't know about it.

Not to get ahead of the game, but what do you think about Geo-thermal electricity production? It is very stable and has little environmental impact.

I'm hoping you will post about that and other cool geothermal things. I am interested in them and in newer homebuilding technologies. This could get fun.

Panhandle Poet said...

BWH: There are so many alternative energy initiatives right now that it's difficult to know where to start. I've got a million things bouncing around in my head on this. I started diving into this when all the ethanol plants and windmills became popular. I would like to become an "energy self-sufficient" homeowner. I've got 4 acres to work with and I believe I could produce more energy than we consume.

bigwhitehat said...

I would be happy with becoming efficient none the less self-sufficient. Of course being a suburbanite these days doesn't make it any easier.