The Big question: Can ocean waves generate enough alternative energy to power the planet

Ocean waves Energy generator

Why are we asking this now?

This question could fairly go unanswered at this point of time just because it does not need an explanation. Even a fifth grader today, could blindly recognize the need to shift to better, cleaner and safer sources of energy. Oil has already played its menacing role under the disguise of the greatest source of energy. Renewable energy should be a compulsion instead of being a point of discussion now. The sun, the wind and the water are three such elements whose energy is still highly unexplored, leave apart being used. Water is a potent and constant source of energy, keeping in mind that almost three quarters of the earth breathe life below water. An inexplicable source of bio energy, the ocean contains tremendous potential.

Is it really that serious?

Well yes, it is. The level of seriousness aggravates with the fact that water currents, especially oceanic currents have huge force and hence, power hidden in. Waves and tides are all the more important, being contributors of an annual 3 tetrawatts and 8 tetrawatts respectively. It is estimated that out of the 18 percent of energy derived from renewable sources, 15 percent comes from aquatic sources. The question is, can this power be harnessed effectively enough to feed the hunger of the entire planet?

The developments:

1. bioWAVE Ocean Wave Power System

bioWAVE Ocean Wave Power System

BioPower systems, an Australian company has found out a unique way to churn out power from the ocean, making their appliances behave like marine animals and plants. The two products, named bioWAVE and bioSTREAM, are two sets of technologies which the company boasts of. While the first has buoyant blades, that sway with water currents just like marine plants do, the second one mimics sharks and other thunniform fish in their pattern of fins. The idea is to trap energy in the most natural way possible.

2. Scotland will unveil the world’s largest tidal turbine proposal in Sound of Islay

Tidal turbine proposal

The Scottish Government has been generous in contributing its share of completed duty to the drive for turning green. It has granted the approval for a £40 mega tidal turbine project. This one would be the largest one of its kind generating 10 MW power and is being estimated to light up 5000 houses.

3. Underwater Kite Turbines Harvest Energy From Ocean Waves

Underwater Kite Turbines

A creation of Minesto, this is a relatively unique concept, wherein, turbine would be covered by blades, 8-14 meters in dimensions and would be attached to the ocean floor. Seen from the ocean bed, theses arrangements would look like kites flying in water. Currents would cause these kites to sway and the turbines to turn to life, generating considerable amount of electricity.

4. ANSYS helps Green Ocean Energy to generate energy from ocean waves

Energy generating system

Green Ocean Energy has come up with two software run devices, Ocean treader and Wave trader. The software used has been supplied by ANSYS. It is a claim that the arms attached to the main device would keep retracing an up down path and produce electricity enough to power a generator. It is estimated that the devices could produce 500KW power that can be transmitted ashore and used to light atleast 125 homes.

The main hurdles:

With the good, comes the bad. While ocean can be a mammoth energy source, the estimates are dubious regarding the extent to which utilization of this energy is possible. The first hurdle is that research regarding this wing of science is still in its infancy. There is a lot of development yet to come and a lot yet to be done regarding the technology and the research part. Secondly, since water is a diffused form of energy, and all waves do not measure equally, coupled by the fact that currents are uncertain and can change their directions, a complete confidence in the success of this technique is slightly unworthy.

What can be done?

This is a blank question, since the answer remains massively diverse. At this stage, the thing of utmost importance that must be given the utmost attention is the research that needs to go into this field. True, renewable energy is important, but how we harness ir more important. The conclusion is, nothing can be better than success, no matter what the issue is!

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