Curiosity and controversy over wave potential power arise

February 9, 2012

California’s Central Coast has the second largest wave potential power in the nation, falling second only to the state of Alaska, according to a new study conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). [MontereyCountyWeekly]

Atmocean Incorporated founder Phil Kithil studied the San Luis Obispo coastline last year, searching for more eco-friendly ways of producing power. The study focused on a particular method called wave energy sequestration technology, which involves hydraulic pressure being sent through a water wheel which then drives a generator.

“We got quite a bit more output than we expected,” Kithil said.

Paul Jacobson, an EPRI project manager, even suggests that if tapped into, the ocean in the Central Coast area could provide 21 gigawatts of wave energy each year. That’s enough to run about 21 nuclear power plants.

While the results of these studies sound promising, it is unlikely that much wave power will be produced in the near future. The information is primarily for theoretical purposes, say study researchers, citing the many potential dangers of wave power.


24 Comments

  1. godislanguage says:

    Cool concept. I can imagine massive bronze water-wheel blades nested into a u-shaped concrete buttress with the closed end towards the sea.

    An incredible challenge to combat the massive, constant hydraulic forces, sandy particulates, organic matter and tidal changes.

    Perhaps a proven concept can be nationalized and deployed like the hoover dam and be built instead of constant resources being spent to maintain the free-flow of oil that we now find our national policy advocating.

    Certainly, a fraction of the Military and Commercial Nuclear Power Industry could focus some of its intellectual know-how to solve these benign technical challenges. DOE must have grants available for such endeavors.

    Another facet of this problem is to establish a military urgency for this technology, since its as natural of a motivator as getting up in the morning to make babies.

    The Tar Sands Reserves of Canada and Northern States are massive, but there is an ecological cost to the extraction. Extraction and transporation requires massive amounts of steam that results in an aqueous byproduct that has its own challenges to control.

    Food for thought….m2cbwthdik

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. R.Hodin says:

    I understand the potential benefits of wave power, but not the controversy. Perhaps the write can elucidate (or correct the headline)?

    Or is CCN now committed to publishing only “controversial” articles.

    ; )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. SewerHeightsRez says:

    Wave power has been researched for over a hundred years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • non_sequitur says:

      You can still see the ruins of a “tidal water wheel” built in 1913 north of Cayucos.

      Storms did it in.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. SLORider says:

    The air pollution district should get right on this. It would be an excellent way to obstruct natural fluvial sediment transport and keep sand from blowing onshore at Oceano Dunes. Of course, that would cause deflation of the dune field (loss of sand). Wave killing technology would compete nicely with the invasive ammophila arenaria grass (planted to stop sand movement) in destroying the natural dune complex.

    But, hey, there would be no more natural blowing sand impacting all the rich 1%’ers downwind playing on their golf course that leveled half the trees on the Mesa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10

  5. doggin says:

    They want the masses, but not them of course, to live in caves,consume their own waste and have 0 modern luxuries. They on the other hand live in stick built homes from products of destroyed forests abroad, use furniture made in child labor camps overseas, drive cars or bicycles made over seas by the most environmentally damaging unregulated companies on earth (NIMBY) then have the products shipped over on ocean and air fouling mega ships and then the finally is to have the goods trucked to their doors by smoke spewing 6mpg big rigs. Lies all of it,funny how we’ve gone from “global warming” to climate change, well no shit Sherlock, its cold in winter and hot in summer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

    • Typoqueen says:

      Is it cold? It was 75 today at my house. We’ve had the driest Dec. and Jan in recorded history. When are we getting the cold winter?

      Lies, hmm not according to most thinking people which includes a very large majority of the scientific community.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

      • whatisup says:

        Europe is rather cold this year. We have been warming for thousands of years. Not that long ago both Yosemite Valley and NY’s Central Park were covered in thousands of feet of ice. Any man made warming, so far, is only accelerating the warming that would have happened anyhow.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        • FaceIt says:

          It’s a thought but I’d rather we clean up our own piles in the short term

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • R.Hodin says:

      Never miss an opportunity to express your frustration, no matter how off-topic it may be, because we’d rather hear it here that watch it on the evening news.

      Peace.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. Jack L says:

    It may be easier to build here but this coast has nowhere near the energy of up north in Humboldt County and areas of Oregon.. I think this means it is easier to build here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  7. Sally says:

    It will never work, the greens will fight it as they fight every green energy project. I have become convince that the green movement does not want green energy they want NO energy they want us to go back to walking and living in tents. They refer to the population as “useless eaters”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 12

    • zaphod says:

      Useless Eaters lets keep that phrase sourced where it actually belongs, shall we?
      If you could provide ONE instance of a ‘green’ actually using that phrase I would be surprised.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

    • Typoqueen says:

      I would like to repeat zaps request for one example of your wild accusation. What terrible thing to say, has the right lost all sense of morals?

      There are weirdos on every side, I’m sure that there are libs that would say such a stupid thing but for every lib that would say such a mean thing I could find 50 cons that say even worse things than that.

      I’ll be waiting for an example this term ‘useless eaters’ that ‘they’ use.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

      • Slowerfaster says:

        TQ , I am reminded of Lincoln’s famous quote: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool , than to speak out and remove all doubt”. …directed towards the initial post.

        In response to your query, I would quote Muddy Waters: “You can’t lose what you ain’t never had” .

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Russ J says:

      Sterilize all male babies from this point forward.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      • FaceIt says:

        Sign at obstetrics officice:
        Two Snips for the Price of One

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • R.Hodin says:

      I believe that the”useless eaters” term was coined by John J Rockefeller & his Bilderberger cronies. I’ve never heard a rank & file enviro use it and I’ve been around them all my adult life.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • zaphod says:

        Good God! every body wants to own that phrase, Starting most recently with Henry Kissinger NSSM 200 a document issued in 1974 Henry Kissinger, who coined the phrase “useless eaters” next your claim, The senator from W.V. was about six years old when the Bilderbergers had the first meeting in 1956. Genesis of genocide Sir Bertrand Russell took credit as well, most every one thinks it was National Socialist Martyr Ludwig Maximilian Erwin Richter,
        but it was actually from a tract published around 1920 by two university professors, Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche.
        sorry for the run on sentence structure .

        r

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