Sustainable waves

Wavepower

The blue marble

I cannot get enough from pictures showing the earth in its full blue glory in the vast darkness of space. It is magical, looking at it from a distance (Google “earthrise William Anders”).

The blue water, the white cloudy parts and the sunlight lighting up half the earth does not only make a great picture. It also forms a great balanced system of natural resources.

Earth gets its light and warmth from the sun, this warmth creates winds and the wind creates waves. With light and wind we’re well on our way in mastering how we can use these resources to create electricity. With water and waves, we’re just starting up.

 

Earth from space

 

Windy shores and tides

Waves and windy shores go hand in hand. The 3 main causes of waves are gravitational pull of Moon and Sun, surface disturbances like earthquakes or volcano eruptions and the most important is wind.

Even though the wind might take a break, waves keep moving. The earth’s surface is 71% water, always moving water. No breaks! When the wind dies for a moment, there is still the gravitational pull from Moon and Sun resulting in tidal waves.

It sounds like an unlimited and continuous source of energy without CO2 output from “energy harvesting”!

The idea of using waterpower is not new. There is evidence that even in Roman times, tide mills were build. However, like windmills, these were used for a specific job and not to create electricity.

Hydroelectric power as we know it, is fairly new (1878, Cragside, England). The main ways are through dams and rivers. The first hydroelectric powerplant began operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA (1882) and the first large scale tidal power plant was build in France, which became operational in 1966.

So using wave power to create electricity has only just begun.

 

Perpetuum mobile?

It seems logical to use a never-ending movement of water to create green energy. So I got curious whether there are currently companies targeting wave power in general.

I Googled “Wave energy”, and within 30 minutes I found over 25 companies busy with wave power. Different innovative concepts were displayed with one goal in common: using continuous water movement as a source to create electric energy.

This is not a local thing. It is clearly a Global thing. During these 30 minutes I found companies in the Netherlands, USA, UK, Norway, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Finland, China, India, Chili and Australia.

Sunny skies get cloudy, the wind dies……but water keeps moving. And on top of that, the impact on the aquatic environment should be negligible with these new technologies.

Mankind’s need for electric energy seems to have found another alternative for fossil fuels, next to solar and wind generated power.

 

Blue and yellow makes green

As stated above, waterpower has been around for some time now, but hydroelectric plants are fairly new. People concerned with energy supply or with a vast vision of green energy have been thinking about it for decades.

Even close to MPC, we have an innovative mind: István Pap, a Romanian agricultural university professor and father to Kati Pap (management MPC Hungary) worked out an innovative idea for harvesting energy from waves back in the 1980’s.

Innovations in wave power converge quickly now. Bright minds are at work. The practical and efficient use of ocean wave power is not that far away anymore.

Confidence is growing and with confidence financing of these projects is growing.

The world energy council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts (2 million MW) can be “harvested” from waves, which is about double the current world electricity production.

Together with solar and wind energy this should be sufficient for the upward trend of using more and more electricity.

We all learned the basics at kinder garden: mix yellow and blue to get green. The sun creates the winds on earth, while the winds create waves. We’ve learned to use all three unlimited resources and we’ve certainly not reached the efficiency borders yet.

I for one got more confident mankind will win the green race. And we will not need hundreds of years to get there!

Quality is not an act; it’s a habit!

Quality is not an act; it’s a habit!

The title quote is from Aristotle, and I have always perceived it as an absolute truth. Nobody likes to fail, although failure often comes before success. As long you cherish failure as another step

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