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Wave Powered Generator to Power Homes

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the makers-of-the-burns-omni-net dept.

Power 258

Eh-Wire writes "A Scottish company, Ocean Power Delivery (OPD) and it's Norwegian backer, Norsk hydro are set install three wave powered generators 3.5 miles off the north coast of Portugal for the Portuguese renewable energy group Enersis. This will be the world's first commercial wave powered generating system. Providing the initial three generators perform as expected, an additional thirty wave powered generators will be installed by the end of 2006. It's estimated the wave powered generator farm will displace 6000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted from conventional electrical generating plants."

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258 comments

fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12597953)

fp

In Mexico.. (5, Funny)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597954)

... a similar system was in place, however the locals misinterpreted it and put it in the middle of a football field.

Re:In Mexico.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12597984)

why is this moderated informative? obviously the mod doesn't get the mexican wave joke

Re:In Mexico.. (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597995)

obviously the mod doesn't get the mexican wave joke

Either that or they somehow thought that Mexican football involves a lot of water.

Re:In Mexico.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598105)

Hey now, don't insult the Mexican beer-makers...

Re:In Mexico.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598181)

Ha! They're too drunk to make beer.

I'm not sure which is more amusing... (1)

Aioth (870942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597997)

The parent, or the fact that parent was modded informative.

Mod parent up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598065)

Come on that is hardly flamebait , its a joke about the "Mexican wave" .A tradition at football(soccer) matches where fans start to raise their hands then the person sitting next to them follows suit and so on till it goes round the entire arena

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598122)

ROFL
That's only odd in the non-soccer playing American peoples eyes...
It's quite common in Europe during all sportsevents afaik. Not only soccer-games!

Re:In Mexico.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598132)

Flamebait my ass, this is hella funny!

"Its" is not "it's" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12597981)

"it's" = "it is"
"its" = "belonging to it, of it"
A Scottish company, Ocean Power Delivery (OPD) and it's...
Wrong!
...It's estimated...
Right!

Wave hello (4, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597982)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/354882 0.stm [bbc.co.uk] ive read a few other reports on the matter, At the current rate of progression it was noted that we would only have 10% of the power from renewable energy by 2020, However i have read a few reports that were speculating that wave generators set up around Scotland could provide 20-25% of Europes power needs.
If this is so , then it would definantly be a great source of commerce for the region.
Not to mention the positive effect on the enviroment ,.
Yet this will be stiffeld at every turn by the conglomerats who make a fair bit out of natural resource based fuels .

In the region of Germany i am currently , i belive a large percentage of the enegry is derived from wind power(a commen sight when driving around here are collections of wind turbines) , If other countrys were to take on schemes such as these we could cut emmison levels by massive ammounts.
This wont hapen though , as oil(coal gas etc) is money and money is power , so untill the well drys up there will be little done about it , bar experiments.

Re:Wave hello (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597990)

/me crosses fingers in wait of oil crisis.

It's a good thing some countries have got managable renewable energy schemes, they'll be the one's who'll manage to scrape through the oil crisis, unlike the U.S.

Re:Wave hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598008)

Who can scrape through the oil crisis? When the world runs out of oil everybody must find an alternative. The US has other resources- coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind power.

Re:Wave hello (4, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598014)

And the Oil crissis will hit sooner or later(unless we develop a way of creating natural oil cost effectivly,)
We really need to be focusing on natural renewable energy sources and things like fission and fusion power .
People don't like nuclear power because of incidents like three mile island and Chernobly ,yet more damage is done each year by the cumulitive effects of coal/gas and oil plants.
If Nuclear power had not been stiffeld by protestors and irational worrys then the chances are today we would have nuclear as a far far safer and more productive power source.
Alot of the FUD talk most likely comes not from groups like green.peace but from the oil barons who have far mroe intrest in keeping these things at bay

Re:Wave hello (3, Insightful)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598094)

Given that most people know someone who died of cancer, and given that pollution from coal/gas/oil powered power plants is one of the large contributors to cancer, I find it surprising that people take the FUD about the dangers of nuclear power from orginizations like Greenpeace at face value. Yes, nuclear power kills people, but far, far, fewer people die for one kWh of nuclear power than from one kWh of coal power

WHAT?!? (1)

NoelWeb (797393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598128)

People don't like nuclear power because of incidents like three mile island and Chernobly ,yet more damage is done each year by the cumulitive effects of coal/gas and oil plants.

Oh really? So, I guess the grass is growing really green over at Chernobyl these days, heh? Where the hell did you pull this out of? Actually, don't answer that... I don't want to know.

Lets be clear about something: yes, nuclear power is most likely the energy source for the future. Do not forget however, the thousands of radioactive waste pools that are sitting about the world waiting for someone's backyard. Also, using Chernobyl as a "yeah, well, Chernobyl, ya know..." type of segue is plain-stupid for any pro-nuclear arguement. Chernobyl is a perfect example of an "accident," and accidents do happen. Yes, there were large factors involved like the "big test" and "stressed-out" plant managers, but they though they had it all under control. So, accidents do happen. Knowing that, how big do you want to let the accidents be? Nuclear? I'll stick with the current advances in hyrdogren cells and things to that nature. Controlled bomb-blasts just frighten me a little too much. For all you science-techies who are going to correct that: take a look at the Chernobyl plant pictures... looks like a bomb went off to me.

Re:WHAT?!? (2, Interesting)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598160)

That grass looks pretty green [kiddofspeed.com] to me...

Just because humans can't live there without getting cancer doesn't mean that other life forms aren't able to.

Re:WHAT?!? (2, Informative)

NoelWeb (797393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598281)

Did you happen to read the text above the pictures? Let me save you the trip...

...It is inside the houses where the real danger lies. One must be especially careful in houses with open windows facing the Atomic Power Plant....Taking such a walk with no special radiation detecting device is like walking through a minefiled wearing snowshoes

The "grass growing green" means nothing in particular, just a "saying," however, it should also be noted that grass also grows on land-fills too. How liveable is that?

Besides, Just because humans can't live there without getting cancer doesn't mean that other life forms aren't able to is a piss-poor arguement. I don't see many animals hanging-out in any of those pictures. Did you read the rest of the site, where the "tourist" describes how quiet it is there? As in, not even birds chirping?

You have one hell of a way of making your point... umm... I think... ???

Re:WHAT?!? (2, Informative)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598239)

Shit, I'm too tired to get wordy, so I'll just leave it at this: Chernobyl's RBMK reactor is a shoddy and primitive design that is as about as different from a modern design as a Univac mainframe is from the computer you're sitting in front of.

Do some actual reading about engineering and nuclear physics instead of making nonsensical statements about controlled bomb-blasts.

Re:WHAT?!? (1)

NoelWeb (797393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598302)

Non-sensical? What do you think a NUCLEAR-REACTION IS?

OK, I'll get off of Chernobyl... how about 3-Mile Island?

I know... any arguement made against nuclear power can be shot down...

when your child comes out with 3 heads and 2 toes, you'll be the kind of person who wonders why...

Re:WHAT?!? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598332)

Chernobyl's RBMK reactor is a shoddy and primitive design
There's a lot of them still in service, plus some antiquated US designs with problems.
different from a modern design as a Univac mainframe is from the computer you're sitting in front of
There are very few plants in service that were built after Chernobyl lost containment, and none of those are in the USA - the "univac mainframe" is what you have.

Re:WHAT?!? (2, Insightful)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598409)

There are very few plants in service that were built after Chernobyl lost containment, and none of those are in the USA - the "univac mainframe" is what you have.

And it is all we will get if people do not appreciate the differences in security and efficiency between the new designs and the old ones.
Chernobyl made it really difficult to get people to accept the building of new and more secure reactor plants to relieve and eventually replace the old, shoddy ones.

Another fission expedition? Lets stay on the wave (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598150)

Electricity was mentioned, so we get:
People don't like nuclear power because of incidents like three mile island and Chernobly
And now for some rewriting of history:
If Nuclear power had not been stiffeld by protestors
Hmm, Jimmy Carter nuclear protester - not Jimmy Carter former nuclear engineer as reality will have it. Next the coal ash is nuclear waste too troll will emerge, despite coal having nothing to do with this.

Back to wave power - this unit may not generate as much electricity as three mile island, but it's a small cheap solution. There is no one true energy, anyone that tells you there is is trying to sell you something.

Re:Another fission expedition? Lets stay on the wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598175)

"If Nuclear power had not been stiffeld by protestors"
That is true if a bit UK centric , several uk Nuclear research projects which were long into the development of methods for reprocesing nuclear waste so it would be useable again were closed down due to the parliment caving in to protestors.

Re:Another fission expedition? Lets stay on the wa (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598304)

"If Nuclear power had not been stiffeld by protestors"

That is true if a bit UK centric

Now lets see if I get you right - you see Thatcher as caving in to protestors and not as an economic rationalist who cancelled construction of a bloody expensive plant and told British Nuclear Fuels to stop coming and begging for money?

I don't live in the UK, but that sounds like a different Thatcher to how she appeared in the international press.

Re:Wave hello (2, Insightful)

Peden (753161) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598170)

Please be aware the amount of oil it takes to process the uranium ore from the rocks. This is a huge amount! On top of that, uranium is just like oil, there is only so much of it. Wave energy is a good idea, but some research should be put into how this affects the seas. Granted there is a lot of energy in there, but taking some out would probably have some effect?

Re:Wave hello (5, Informative)

doktoromni (839179) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598325)

Comparing the energy contained in known Uranium reserves to the energy contained in the known oil reserves is much like comparing a matchstick to a forest fire. Fissile materials could last for *billions* of years [stanford.edu] [www-formal.stanford.edu], and so fissiles should also be considered a renewable energy source as the sun - and this is taking into account an yearly energy consumption rate 25 times higher than present, more than if the whole world was as energy-hungry as the developed countries.

Re:Wave hello (1)

ProfaneBaby (821276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598052)

Absolute nonsense.

Many states in the US have the same sort of renewable energy goals as countries in Europe. It's not, though, something that needs to be regulated by the Federal Government which - for the most part - lets states manage their own energy needs and supplies.

17 states have laws/plans to migrate towards renewable energy, including the largest (California, 20% by 2010), and the Federal government offers a tax credit to companies that use wind for energy needs (which is the Federal government's favorite way of suggesting that companies should be moving in that direction).

Re:Wave hello (1, Informative)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598075)

Yay, another conspiracy theory, this time from someone with the nick FidelCatsro... I think I can guess who's KoolAid you've been sipping.

These 'conglomerats' you talk of are just regular corporations, no more scary than Microsoft. Like Microsoft they play rough and they break laws if the incentive is high enough, but if wave energy ever gets to the point where it is an economically sound investment, it _will_ get used. No amount of FUD from the 'evil' Arab oil conglomerat or the 'evil' US oil companies can put of the inevitable downfall of an inferior idea.

As to your assertion that where you live "a large percentage of the enegry is derived from wind power", I doubt it. It takes years for a wind power generator just to generate the amount of energy used to create a wind power generator...

Re:Wave hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598084)

Germany roughly gets 6.5% of it power from wind (which is a rather high percentage , considering global averages) , IIRC i belive in the north it is more like 10% and less in the midle regions , and about average down south .

Re:Wave hello (2, Informative)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598104)

If Germany is one of the larger producers of wind power, then I guess 6.5% sounds possible. And still that's barely more than a drop in the ocean. I highly doubt that wind power is the future.

Re:Wave hello (4, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598101)

Actualy in germany in 2004 it was roughly 9.4% of the power consumed was garnerd from wind power
http://www.climateark.org/articles/reader.asp?link id=39367 [climateark.org]
Its not a conspiracy theory its a fact of the matter , It will be replaced eventualy but right now too many jobs and natural resource earnings would be at stake for countrys to consider ditching it right now

Conglomorates its the right word though (A corporation made up of a number of different companies that operate in diversified fields.) most of them do have stakes in several sectors ,if you look into the various fields companys such as shell , BP and Texaco operate ..

Re:Wave hello (4, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598121)

To back that up a little , I lived most of my life in Aberdeen Scotland which is the Oil captiol of Europe, a hell of alot of jobs around the region are intertwined with the oil rigging industry and the other sectors of the oil field.
If Aberdeen were to lose those jobs instantly it would be a massive blow and the same for many other areas and regions throught the world , we can't simply just switch from oil and natural fosil fuels , it needs to be slowly introduced to build up the new industrys or we could be see wide spread global reccesions for a number of years , as oil brings in a hell of alot of money

Re:Wave hello (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598143)

And why on earth _should_ we kill the oil industry overnight when a better source of energy arrives? The investment in the infrastructure is already made, both money-wise and environment-wise. Not only would it be economically unsound to just throw away billions worth of investments in oil infrastructure, it would be a major blow to the environment, since building enough wave powered power plants to supply the world with all the power we nned would be very taxing for the environment. The best solution both for the economy _and_ for the environment is to slowly phase out a deprecated technology and make sure any new infrastructure is built using the new technology. Kind of like LCDS have slowly replaced CRTs in the last decade.

Re:Wave hello (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598126)

I'm sorry, but I find your post very funny. You link to a site that contradicts your own statments. Not only does the site you link to state that the number is 9.3%, not 'roughly 9.4%' (While this is a minor difference, it just goes to show how cerfully you read things), that number is the percentage of energy from 'Wind, hydro and other renewable plants'. According to the poster right above you, you are off by nearly a factor of two. In computer science this may not be much, but in economy, an error factor of two is pretty huge.

Re:Wave hello (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598144)

The numbers [answers.com] Vary from site to site.
I have seen the number vary between 6.5-10%.
This [wind-energie.de] is also intresting reading!
In Deutschland we look to have a far larger percent of our energy needs met by win by 2010

--uwe--

Re:Wave hello (0)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598182)

Yeah, I don't know enough about the german use of wind power tell whether that article was correct or not, I was merely trying to point out that the OP was completely misrepresenting the contents of the article he was referring to.

Re:Wave hello (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598389)

The article actually says 9.3% is made up of wind, hydro and other renewables, of which 44% was wind. Which means that about 4.1% is wind.

Re:Wave hello (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598404)


...too many jobs and natural resource earnings would be at stake for countrys to consider ditching it right now

Isn't that the same reason that the variuos ridiculous income (and other) tax codes never get simplified?

Just imagine the horror of unemployed accountants ravaging the countryside, it'd be like that movie where people get turned into zombies and then the *real* zombies would get pissed-off cause it'd cut into their domination of the zombie market. Well, OK, maybe I'm hyperbolizing - zombie accountants would probably just morph into insurance salesmen, but that in itself sets off a whole nother class of raging white collars.

renewable energy sources (5, Insightful)

xonen (774419) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597986)

The European Union requires 22 percent of electricity consumption to come from renewable energy sources -- such as solar, wind and wave -- by 2010.

i did not know that fact, thought it was 8%-10%, but it's a good goal, although i doubt it will be reached. there is lot of opposition to 'conventional' methods of renewable energy, like wind energy.
here in holland (a windy place) people think they're ugly, noisy and potentionally dangerous. and the same environmental groups that dislikes carbondioxide and nuclear energy als dislike the fact birds may fly into those things. for long time, people have suggested off-shore solutions, like off-shore windmill parks.. but they're expensive.
so, i find it aprticulair interesting that a country like portughal pioneers in those steps, instead of 'hi-tec' countries like holland, germany or france.
guess it's just a matter of oil prices to raise more, so alternative power sources automatically gets economical benefits. after all, the techniques are there, short-view economics and lack of vision is keeping those from being implemented.

Re:renewable energy sources (5, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598005)

The enviromental extremest(I am very much an enviromentalist , but am pragmatic about it) will find any reason to complain , we have heaps of them here in Germany , I often drive past them (well im a passenger) And have never once seen a dead bird laying around at the bottom of them , they are hardly noisy atall and generaly not that much of an eye sore(i kind of like them ).
Its rather insulting to the inteligence of birds , i have yet to see one study that can confirm birds would be that prone to flying into them , People seem to prefer irrational fear to logic .

Re:renewable energy sources (4, Informative)

ProfaneBaby (821276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598044)

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-04-win dmills-usat_x.htm [usatoday.com]


After years of study but little progress reducing bird kills, environmentalists have sued to force turbine owners to take tough corrective measures. The companies, at risk of federal prosecution, say they see the need to protect birds. "Once we finally realized that this issue was really serious, that we had to solve it to move forward, we got religion," says George Hardie, president of G3 Energy.

The size of the annual body count -- conservatively put at 4,700 birds -- is unique to this sprawling, 50-square-mile site in the Diablo Mountains between San Francisco and the agricultural Central Valley because it spans an international migratory bird route regulated by the federal government. The low mountains are home to the world's highest density of nesting golden eagles.


It certainly seems to be a limited problem. The question, then, is whether or not you can find a safe alternative, or if you define an 'accepted' loss and work to stay within that realm.

In California (which also has a 20% by 2010 law), these wind turbines are going up ALL OVER - especially in a lot of the passes leading from the coastal valleys into the inner valleys. Some of the windier passes happen to be the same passes that birds use for migration, which is causing a lot of the complaints. Not all of the passes are on migration routes - the corridor along I-10 through Palm Springs has one of the largest installations, and hasn't been subject to many complaints at all, as the number of birds (population density, I suppose) in that area isn't nearly as high as in the coastal regions.

Re:renewable energy sources (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598058)

I like to look at it in a darwinian sense , if these birds are stupid enough to fly into wind turbines then perhaps its natural selection.Though even then it is a very minor risk of it happening atall , unless as you say they are planted in migration routes.
Then that is perhaps a little cruel , they will need to devise some form of scare-crow to ward off the birds.
ofcourse they will need to do it without making the plants eye-sores and making them confusing to air crafts in the dark (a line of these with flashing lights could get mistaken for a landing strip i imagine( in harsh conditions).

Re:renewable energy sources (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598142)

The light on landing strips is a specific colour, just as the lights on parts of planes are different colours (i cant remember which color for which part though)

all this would need is a colour which is not used by anything else (blue??).

Re:renewable energy sources (3, Insightful)

xonen (774419) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598241)

It may be measured and calculated how many birds got killed by those things.

But at the same time, we forget to calculate the number of animals getting killed by not doing so. Climate changes already lead to the extinsion of several species, the petrochemical industry is far from being environmental friendly. All kinds of indirect effects are not calculated, 'just' to safe a few hundred birds.
And, if animals aren't important enough (...) in holland it is calculated that fine dust, mainly from traffic, reduces the lifes of about 10.000 people with about 10 years. So, there is a serious health aspect by using our current oil-based products for our vehicles and other industry. Hydrogen or electric cars could save us lifes!
The only other solution would be not to use energy, but that for sure would also cost lifes. So, i pity the birds, but in general, windmills are much better for the environment, our health, animals and plants, than not doing so.
In densely-populated holland, we are already facing the serious consequences from pollution for our own health. It is amazing that progress is made so slowly...

Cat power? (3, Funny)

wytcld (179112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598362)

Domestic cats kill millions of birds annually. Windows kill many thousands of birds who fly into them. Animal-loving environmentalists often keep cats, and live in dwellings with windows, so they can gaze out at their beloved nature. Homes without windows would be more energy-efficient. Perhaps we can harness cats for energy, but they sleep 16 hours a day.

Holland is prime example (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598070)

We need look no further than The Netherlands for why some environmentalists think birds will get killed in wind turbines. It is a widely known an accepted fact that millions of birds every year are killed in all those dutch windmills which exist only to prop up the local postcard industry. In fact, 'Holland' is dutch for 'bird mincer'.

*cough* (if others are allowed to spout uninformed crap on emotive issues, I see no reason why I shouldn't join in the fun)

J

Re:Holland is prime example (1)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598383)

Shoulda posted it as your self rather than an anonymous coward, i would have given you a few mod points for funny.

Holland means exactly that what it means translated:

Low lying country. Hol = hole. Land = Land. The thing is that we are 75% - 85% below the sea level, so only our dikes are holding the water away.

Besides the point, the windmills you talk about are not the ones that generate energy. The ones on then postcards are there to either make flour out of grain, or to pump water out of de farming land into the nearby lake, or the other way around, if the farming land needs water again.

These wind turbines they are talking about are big things stuck on huge long pipes, and they don't really make a sound.

"Woosh woosh woosh" That rocks me to sleep while I am anchored off the coast somewhere in the middle of The Netherlands.

Re:renewable energy sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598334)

While wind turbines do kill the occasional bird, this is no comparison to the estimated million birds killed in the uk each year by flying into cars and windows in the UK. Indeed the RSPB is, with a few exceptions, pro-wind [rspb.org.uk]

Re:renewable energy sources (4, Funny)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598352)

The enviromental extremest... will find any reason to complain , we have heaps of them here in Germany , I often drive past them. And have never once seen a dead bird laying around at the bottom of them , they are hardly noisy atall and generaly not that much of an eye sore

Oh I don't know, the really extreme ones can be pretty vocal and I've known a few that weren't exactly pleasing on the eye. They don't generally kill very many birds though, I'll give you that...

Re:renewable energy sources (1)

mindstormpt (728974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598109)

so, i find it aprticulair interesting that a country like portughal pioneers in those steps

I'd find it too if it was true. But we're not even pioneering the renewable energy development in our own country, we just happen to be the country chosen by a Scottish company. Ahhh such a great country I live in.

Re:renewable energy sources (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598257)

What people her (holland) think about windmills may have little to do with reality. Because windfarms have to be huge, they are visible. Most people perfer to think of the countryside as 'unspoilt nature' although there is no nartural piece of wilderness left in the netherlands. (don't point at all the little pieces of nature reserves here and there: if you need someone to maintain it, and it was created a few decades ago, it is a garden, not 'wilderness'). Everything else is manmade too, but windfarms stand out to much attracting the ire of the environmentalists.

I have a deep suspicion that most environmentalism is not based on reality or science, but that it is a belief-system, aka a religion. That makes arguing with these folks as hard and pointless as arguing with creationists.

As for why they chose portugal: that is probably because that is where the biggest waves are. Most of coastal europe is bordering the northsea, which is relatively small and shallow, and the shallowness prevents really big(long) waves from forming. The atlantic is deep enough for big long waves to form, transporting most of the windenergy to the shore.

Re:renewable energy sources (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598396)

dislike the fact birds may fly into those things.

Yeah, I'm totally with them!

.. not to mention, think of all the birds that keep flying into those trees I see everywhere!

Plus ca change (4, Insightful)

kiore (734594) | more than 9 years ago | (#12597993)

The artificial power sources that led to the first wave (no pun intended) of industralisation were water power ... in the form of mills driven by waterwheels trapping river power.

Then we had steam, and burned fossil fuels to make it. Tearing up the ground, polluting the air, the water, and eventually damaging our whole world.

Finally we return to extracting energy from water. No compaints from me on that score.

Re:Plus ca change (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598031)

http://www.industcards.com/hydro-scotland.htm [industcards.com]
Hydro has been one of the main sources of power in scotland since 1930s (some really wonderfull damms with great architecture) , I used to visit them alot when i was younger , a real majesty about them.
the planet is mostly water anyway and with the power of tides and gravity , if we put effort into it i am fairly sure we could get nearly all of our energy needs from water . only problem is that their is little money to get out of it compared to drilling for oil.

Needs Revisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12597994)

In theory, powered generated from the farm could displace up to 6000 tons of carbon dioxide. Predicting this is a guaranteed result is deceptive and frankly fraudulent. They haven't even finished the initial experimental deployment. Plus there's no mention of the environmental impact at the ocean site it will be deployed.

wow (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598337)

What axe do you have to grind? calling predictions fraudulent, just because they are predictions.
And well, what about the environmental impact of these things that lie at the bottom of the sea? Even if it were to have a negative impact, who are you to weigh that aaginst the positive impact from polluting energy that was replaced?

More details and animation (4, Informative)

oren (78897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598025)

Are available at the company's site [oceanpd.com] . Flash animation of how the system works can be found here [oceanpd.com] .

From their site:

A typical 30MW installation would occupy a square kilometre of ocean and provide sufficient electricity for 20,000 homes. Twenty of these farms could power a city such as Edinburgh.

And:

The 750kw full-scale prototype is 120m long and 3.5m in diameter...

So this isn't very different from the power density of, say, wind turbines. It has the advantage that you can locate the 40,000 12m long 3.5m diameter devices - not to mention X00,000 anchoring cables - out of sight in the ocean, instead on the top of ridges where they stick out like sore thumbs and chop the occasional bird migration.

Still, you'd need something lime X000 km^2 to provide all of the UK's electricity this way. With that amount, people will start complaining. Also, their site gives no estimation of cost per kw. A salt ocean with high waves is a very machine-hostile environment, so these devices will have a very finite life time, and at the sizes they give, they are anything but cheap.

So while this is very clever, and nice, it doesn't get us off the hook for a sustainable energy source. Floating nuclear plants, now - that's a thought. Its the ultimate in "not in my back yard". :-)

Re:More details and animation (1)

jlp2097 (223651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598116)

Floating nuclear plants, now - that's a thought. Its the ultimate in "not in my back yard". :-)

Now that would be incredibly stupid. What happens, when the power plant sinks? Glowing fish for everyone?

Re:More details and animation (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598287)

I take it you're just as worried about nuclear powered submarines then? I appreciate that there's a difference in scale, and I'm not saying you're not right to be concerned...

Re:More details and animation (1, Interesting)

liam193 (571414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598147)

Still, you'd need something lime X000 km^2 to provide all of the UK's electricity this way. With that amount, people will start complaining. Also, their site gives no estimation of cost per kw. A salt ocean with high waves is a very machine-hostile environment, so these devices will have a very finite life time, and at the sizes they give, they are anything but cheap.


It looks like you where headed down the same direction I was when I first read this. Please someone tell me I'm missing something here because I hate to believe that the people putting this together are that crazy.

First off let's look at the costs. I see them saying that the delivery of units will cost $10.12M. This group also delivers 2250Kw. So I come up with a number of $4497/Kw for the generation. If you try to pay that back over 3 years, it costs $0.17/Kwh (around here the prevailing ratest for power generation are closer to $0.04/Kwh or $0.05/Kwh) And that does not assume that there are any maintenance costs (which is rather ludicrous when you consider a mechanical device in salt water.

Now for the environmental question. Is this truly a benefit? If I setup enough of these units to generate say 10% of the worldwide power requirements, what happens to the ocean currents? Do I not create a severe ocean current problem that could radically change the climate of given portions of the earth? I seriously think this would have a more far reaching effect than the emissions that currently exist.

I guess as I see it this way: It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it will be practical without some serious modification the design. We basically have a prototype situation here. Try it out. Find out what happens. Then talk about building more. Anything else is pure hype and lacking in the necessary data to extrapolate the benefits and risks.

Re:More details and animation (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598300)

Still, you'd need something lime X000 km^2 to provide all of the UK's electricity this way.

So don't try to produce it all using this, just produce some of it.

Anything that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, even a little, has to be a good thing.

How it works (4, Informative)

dos_dude (521098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598026)

A little more detail about how that stuff works wouldn't have hurt in that story.

Ocean Power Delivery Limited has a website [oceanpd.com] ! And they have a nice little Flash animation that explains those sausages [oceanpd.com] .

This isn't nearly as effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598033)

...as nuclear power (Really, nuke power is amazing and we should all be using it). But at least it will be hard to offend anybody with this technology.

Actually nevermind, I'm sure someone will say "Fish get caught in generator", and start a movement.

Re:This isn't nearly as effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598080)

But at least it will be hard to offend anybody with this technology.

There's always one group of dickheads. Just wail till it gets a bit more popular.

How much CO2 is really saved? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598036)

It's estimated the wave powered generator farm will displace 6000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted from conventional electrical generating plants.

And how many thousnands of tons of carbon dioxide were emitted by the factories producing this generator equipment, and the generating plants powering them?

I wonder if large machinery is really the answer to renewable and enviromentally friendly power. Personally, I don't think its likely.

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598042)

Wait, let me see if I am understanding you correctly.

You are trying to say that the process of building a machine ONCE will generate way more CO2 than a CONTINUING, NEVER-ENDING process of making power?

Are you trolling?

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598161)

Are you trying to say that you can have a MECHANICAL DEVICE in SALT WATER and it will work FOREVER without REPLACEMENT?

Are you insane?

Building a machine "once", indeed.

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598167)

No machine is ever-ending. All things, both human and machine, die. It's only a matter of when (and with modern machines, it's going to be sooner then the human ;)).

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (1)

Llurien (658850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598103)

Why do we get comments like this every time ? People still say things like this every time solar power is mentioned, and now again with water power. How much energy is needed do you think to produce the generators for your coal/oil/gas powered plant ? Besides, if we eventually switch completely to renewable sources, those factories will emit no CO2 at all, since they too will be powered from renewable sources.
Look, the only way we can ever completely reduce our impact on the environment is by committing mass suicide. I don't think that is very likely, so until then we are stuck with trying to improve our technologies.

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598171)

Why do we get comments like this every time ?

Because some people know how to do arithmetic?

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598164)

And how many thousnands of tons of carbon dioxide were emitted by the factories producing this generator equipment, and the generating plants powering them?

It doesn't matter as long as it's a one time cost that is going to be more than accounted for over the lifetime of the generator. I think that's pretty damn likely, don't you?

What, then? (1)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598333)

I wonder if large machinery is really the answer to renewable and enviromentally friendly power. Personally, I don't think its likely.

What are we supposed to use, magic? Virtually everything modern humans do is based on machinery, often large machinery. You want solar power? Big arrays, manufactured in large factories. Some resource consumption and pollution is inevitable in implementing ANY "green" power scheme. It's just a matter of determining if you're reducing the overall environmental effects or not. Alternately, we all go back to living in teepees.

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (1)

Xrikcus (207545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598343)

And how many thousnands of tons of carbon dioxide were emitted by the factories producing the oil fired generator equipment, and the generating plants powering them?

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598372)

Do you really think that producing a couple hundred tons of finished machinery requires thousands of tons of carbon dioxide released from fuel burn? I think your orders of magnitude are wayy off. They only had to build these machines once, it's not fair to count the entire energy output of the factory when not all of that was used to run manufacturing processes. Find me energy usage numbers, then you can compare. Otherwise, my answer to you is "an infinitesimal amount" in response to "how many thouands of tons ... were emitted?"

Re:How much CO2 is really saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598373)

I can't answer for wave technology, but wind farms are extremely energy efficient. A turbine will typically "pay off" in energy terms about three months after construction.

This differs fairly seriously from photovoltaics, which fail to pay off in a 25 year life-span.

For a bit more info on some of the hype surrounding wind farms, the British Wind Energy Association has some good info [bwea.com]

An alternative to tidal power? (2, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598037)

Might be an interesting alternative to tidal power [wikipedia.org] , when tides are not strong enough. But I couldn't find much technical information on it.

As for tidal power itself, maybe it's worth noting here that it has been in use for quite some time, even though at only few places. The largest is the 240 Megawatts plant in La Rance in France [strath.ac.uk] .

In Northern Ameria, there is The Annapolis Tidal Generating Station [annapolisbasin.com] .

About tidal power (1)

peri9 (885762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598100)

You can have free flowing or dammed tidal. The one in France is dammed iirc, however http://bluenergy.com/ [bluenergy.com] uses free flowing.
In response to some other posters, tidal power probably won't do much to fish. The turbines spin much more slowly than wind turbines because water is much denser than air. This means that little fish can just swim through, while larger fish just go around them (if there is no dam)

M'y, you'r, hi's, her's, it's... you know? (5, Funny)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598043)

A Scottish company, Ocean Power Delivery (OPD) and it's Norwegian backer
Editor's: Im glad to see that youre capable of correcting the posters use of apostrophe's. Its too much to assume that the poster's would get thei'r grammars right anyway.

Re:M'y, you'r, hi's, her's, it's... you know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598072)

Waht' 'u talkin' 'bout? Wil'lis!!?!

environmental impact (4, Interesting)

Senor_Programmer (876714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598050)

anything one does to extract energy affects the environment. wind farms and nuclear plants change local micro-climates. i'm curious as to what, if any modeling has been done for 'sausage' farms.

as an aside, these things are certain to confuse and confound first time extra-solar visitors.

EU is proceeding, along with Japan, with a test bed for materials to be used in nuclear fusion reactor, if they ever sort out where it's gonna go. In the mean time, IMO, the best thing that could happen for 'clean' power would be a global standard fission plant along with a set of standards for site requirements. Cookie cutter fission plants would make nuclear power much more affordable. As for nuclear waste, IMO it's pretty arrogant to think we'll be around 50k years from now, while at the same time not being clever enough to figure out how to handle the waste by the time the 50k year countdown ends...

Re:environmental impact (2, Insightful)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598212)

I think it's pretty arrogant to think that "we'll always come up with a solution later. We're clever enough".

Re:environmental impact (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598265)

IMO, the best thing that could happen for 'clean' power would be a global standard fission plant
We've still got a long way to go before that will be possible - maybe pebble bed will be cheap enough?

Fission is still a very expensive way to boil water, and in most cases is just there as the peaceful side of the bomb. There are exceptions, Japan has it as insurance against losing their imported supply of coal and oil, and pebble bed may just be the first nuclear technology that will be cost effective vs fossil fuels - but it still has a long way to go to match hydro.

The reality is that nuclear power is an expensive thing to develop and maintain, so you'll only see it in countries that have put a lot of development work in. In the cases of Israel, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Nth Korea and now Iran that means miltary installations with military objectives.

As for nuclear waste, IMO it's pretty arrogant to think we'll be around 50k years from now
The physics of the matter is very simple, and not "arrogant". IMHO the waste problem still exists because of the counterproductive loonies that call nuclear "clean" and "green" - why clean up something that is supposed to be perfect? We use all kinds of toxic stuff and deal with it sensibly, we shouldn't play lets pretend games with radioactive materials and treat them with the respect they deserve. That kind of bullshit gives us an incident in a Mexican landfills because some loser from the USA tried to hide the material, when they should have just marked it as dangerous and dealt with it from there.

As for modifying the microclimate, I doubt a big wave farm offshore will do any more than a cooling dam and cooling towers at a nuclear/coal/oil plant will do - in other words, not much.

Re:environmental impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598284)

So If I peed in your living room I could justify it by saying "you're going to die anyway" or "someone will clean it up later"! Actually, I think it is much more arrogant to make a mess and pass off the costs on to some future generation.

Re:environmental impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598381)

What sort of analogy is this. If you must use pee consider that I may not have a WC in my house and you pee in the chamber pot. The honey wagon comes around once a day at 4 in the morning. It's only a mess if you can't aim for shit.

50,000 year containment is NOT a mess. It's storage. If we're not clever enough to figure out what to do some 50,000 year from now, there will not be any 50,000 years in the future generation
to reorganize the storage.

Re:environmental impact (1)

jhenager (793273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598407)

Yeah, most people don't know what 'half life' is, or are just familiar with the game title.

Cool finally the royal family can contribute (3, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598054)

They are always waving. The Queens waves are a bit feeble though, dunno if I would want her powering the electric shower in the morning.

Re:Cool finally the royal family can contribute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598111)

Electric shower? You are a hard man...

Dupe!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598073)

Once again we are subjected to another dupe [slashdot.org]

Wine powered generator for homes? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598112)

Oh sorry, it's a little early. I was thinking "wow, electric prices sure must be high to resort to pouring wine into a generator!"

Wave powered, eh... if I crank up my stereo will that generate power and make a perpetual motion machine?

Re:Wine powered generator for homes? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598177)

At slashdot we obey the laws of thermodynamics! Now go and destroy your perpetual motion device.

Re:Wine powered generator for homes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12598238)

Was it wine that you drank last night that put it on your mind this morning when reading the headline?

It's (-1, Flamebait)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598140)

It's its, you illiterate fuckos (the submitter and the editor(s)).

Re:It's (1, Offtopic)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598173)

It's its, you illiterate fuckos (the submitter and the editor(s)).

For your information 'fuckos' is not a word, you illiterate reader.

Re:It's (2, Informative)

Ochu (877326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598218)

Ah, well now, here you have broken one of the key rules of /. In order to be a grammar Nazi, you have to either deliver a long and carefully written piece of prose detailing how and why the editors makde a mistake, and providing helpful tips for anyone else who is confused, or be horribly sarcastic b'y makin'g t'he mis'take aga'in and aga'in. Calling them fuckos just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

Now that's the most roundabout way (1)

m4c north (816240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598146)

I've heard to capture wind energy.

Bay of Fundy (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598233)


That reminds me; why is tidal power not more widely used? Building islands [nationmaster.com] is expensive but if the long term results are positive, why not?

Not the first... (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12598275)

Swedes are doing something similar. I saw a coverage on the news about 3 weeks ago.
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