Thursday, October 11, 2007

Development of Ocean, Tidal and Wave Energy

Ocean energy is mostly in an experimental stage. Many ideas have been generated, and a lot of experimental projects are being funded both by governments and commercially. These range from technologies and schemes which produce small amounts of energy for local, often dedicated use, to large-scale projects which can or will be capable of supplying energy in quantities sufficient to feed into a grid. The ocean can produce two types of energy: thermal energy from the sun's heat and mechanical energy from the tides and waves. Energy can be harvested from the oceans in four ways.

As the ocean energy technology develops, the industry is finding that synergies and expertise exist in the offshore wind power and hydropower industries. In the same way, the wind power industry found that the offshore oil and gas industry had a valuable contribution to make in helping with design of offshore wind plants.

Most countries which have investigated the potential exploitation of tidal energy have concentrated on the use of tidal barrages that can be used to control the natural tidal flow, which is directed to drive turbines. Only around 20 sites in the world have been identified as possible tidal power stations. Three countries have tidal energy schemes in operation: France, with the 240 MW tidal barrage at Rance, the largest tidal power station in the world and the only one in Europe, built in 1966; Canada, with the 20 MW Annapolis tidal barrage; and China, with an 11 MW scheme of small tidal plants.

Experimental tidal energy projects are being tested in Russia, UK, Australia, USA, Argentina, Canada, India, Korea, and Mexico.

Potential sites for tidal energy stations are few and far between, but a number have been identified in the UK, France, Eastern Canada, the Pacific coast of Russia, Korea, China, Mexico, and Chile. Other sites have been identified along the Patagonian coast of Argentina, Western Australia, and Western India.

Tidal ranges along the west coast of England and Wales are unusually large, averaging 7 to 8 metres on the spring tides in several estuaries and as much as 11 metres in the Severn. The Severn estuary is the site for the most ambitious tidal barrage that has been proposed for the UK so far, and it has been discussed for many years.

Tidal energy is expensive to install, costing UK£1.5 /US$2.4 million per megawatt, compared with about US$1 million per megawatt for wind turbines. It also has environmental problems including effects on tidal waters and ecosystems. On the positive side, it is cheap to maintain once installed and the electricity output is completely predictable.

Tidal energy barrages would modify existing estuarine ecosystems to varying degrees, and environmental considerations are some of the barriers which have to be overcome to develop them.

Over 300 wave and tidal devices have been suggested to date, but of these, very few are in an advanced state of development. A study in early 2005 identified that one technology, Ocean Power Delivery's “Pelamis,” was leading in terms of development, and a further 4 systems were following closely behind. There are many different wave energy devices on the drawing board or undergoing tests.

Wave energy is within sight of being able to provide commercially viable electricity. The experience of onshore wind energy costs, which have been seen to fall by a factor of five over 12 to 15 years, supports predictions that the cost of wave energy will fall to 3-4 cents/kWh in five to eight years.

Wave energy is generated by the movement of devices, stationary or floating on the surface of the ocean and moved by waves, as opposed to a large volume of tidal water that is used to drive motors.

The highest energy waves are concentrated off the western coasts in the 40°–60° latitude range north and south, in the Atlantic SW of Ireland, the Southern Ocean and off Cape Horn. The capability to supply electricity from this resource is such that, if harnessed appropriately, 10% of the current level of world supply could be provided.

Development is proceeding vigorously, and while little generating capacity has yet been created, the technology is being explored with many new ideas.

Experimental wave energy projects are being tested in Australia, UK, USA, Argentina, Canada, China, India, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Maldives, and Norway.

Benefits would undoubtedly be gained from greater international collaboration on as many as possible of the pre-competitive aspects of R&D. At present, the EU funding opportunities provide a major incentive to encourage collaboration, but there is room for other mechanisms to bring the international wave community closer together and avoid duplication and waste.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Press ReleaseSource: Sustainable Power Corp.

Sustainable Power Corp. Announces Green Energy Consortium
Friday November 30, 11:32 am ET

Signs Co-Development Agreement With Blue Harbor Energy, Inc.
NATCHEZ, MS--(MARKET WIRE)--Nov 30, 2007 -- Sustainable Power Corp. (Other
OTC:SSTP.PK - News) is proud to announce a reached agreement of a new
project named Green Energy Consortium (GEC) based in Baytown, Texas. This
agreement is to use SSTP's technology of the conversion of agricultural
recycled feedstock to a variety of Green-based products that will produce
biocrude, biogasoline, pharmaceutical grade glycerin and 500 megawatts of
green power.

Imagine multiple types of fuels that are derived from the same feed stocks
as cellulosic ethanol like grass, sugar cane, and corn stover; soy hulls
but contain at least 300% more energetic content and are made by a process
that uses 90% less energy. Unlike cellulosic ethanol, these fuels can be
distributed by using existing oil pipelines, rather than uneconomical
trucks and trains, dispensed through existing gas stations, rather than
specialized pumps, and used in existing engines, rather than modified
"flex-fuel" engines. In short, these are biofuels that can be substituted
directly and immediately for gas or diesel on a gallon-for-gallon basis.

Sustainable Power Corp. (SPC) announced today that it has entered into a
co-development agreement with Blue Harbor Energy, Inc. (Blue Harbor) to
move forward its Baytown, Texas renewable fuel production and renewable
energy electricity production facility. The Baytown project in envisioned
to bring together SPC's propriety liquid biofuel generation and refining
technology with electric power generation and a concrete plant to create a
facility that produces liquid fuel suitable for use in current internal
combustion engines, electric power that is generated solely from renewable
sources and concrete that is produced using green power. Capacities and
outputs for each phase of the operation are not yet final.

"We have been proposed financing offers for the project from undisclosed
parties and expect more to come," stated Keith Mazer, President of
Sustainable Power Corp. Mr. Mazer continued, "This is a monumental project
and we're very excited to see the interest and confidence shown by some of
the industry's largest capital investment groups. The world is in
desperate need of green fuel and energy and we now have the ability to
meet that need."

Under the terms of the agreement Blue Harbor will begin work immediately
to work with SPC senior management to complete the development work
necessary for securing the equity investment into the project. No time
frame was announced for completion of this initial phase.
Texas was chosen by Sustainable Power because of its industrial and oil
friendly environment. The Baytown property has rail, truck, pipeline and
power grid access on site and barge access only a few miles down the road
to support our feedstock needs.

Mr. Mazer stated, "We are pleased to have Blue Harbor as part of our team,
and look forward to working with them."
"We have looked at this project and are excited about a renewable energy
power generation of this magnitude," said Dr. White of Blue Harbor Energy,
a co-development company. "We are looking forward to working with Mr.
Mazer and the SPC team to finalize the development effort and bringing the
project online as quickly as possible to realize its reduction of GHG and
positive environmental impact."

About Sustainable Power Corp.
Sustainable Power Corp. is an international green energy service provider
focused on environmentally safe power generation. The company has the
exclusive rights to develop and manage a portfolio of green power plants
utilizing the USSEC biofuel discovery, a renewable fuel source able to be
produced from one-fifth of the soybean acreage traditionally associated
with biodiesel. For more information please visit

About Blue Harbor Energy, Inc.
Blue Harbor Energy is the energy project co-development company which
provides management, technical management, commercial back-office and
contract negotiation services to energy project developers. For additional
information contact Dr. Jeff White at
Safe Harbor Statement

Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements
within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe,"
"estimate," "may," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions identify
such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or
achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or
implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These
forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the
Company and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These
include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with:
the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting the
Company and its operations, markets, product, and distributor performance,
the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist
actions, and U.S. actions subsequently; and other factors available from
the Company.

Investor Contact:
Redwood Consultants, LLC

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