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Powering Australia with Waves


Released: 8/10/2010 5:00 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 8/17/2010 9:00 AM EDT
Source: American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Newswise — Wave energy is surging ahead as a viable source of renewable energy to generate electricity — with Australia’s southern margin identified by the World Energy Council as one of the world’s most promising sites for wave-energy generation.

One problem for wave-energy developers, however, is that previous estimates of wave-energy potential are based on information in deep ocean water, while “wave-energy generation systems are typically positioned near to shore,” says physical oceanographer Mark Hemer of Australia’s CSIRO Wealth for Oceans National research flagship.

In a paper in the AIP’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Hemer and colleague David Griffin provide new estimates of the wave-energy potential of Australia’s near-shore regions. They also calculate how much of Australia’s energy needs could be obtained from wave energy alone. Australia’s present-day electricity consumption is 130,000 gigawatt-hours/year. Hemer and Griffin show that if 10 percent of the near-shore wave energy available along Australia’s Southern coastline could be converted into electricity, half of the country’s present-day electricity consumption would be met.

Australia has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent of year 2000 levels by 2050. Although an economic analysis of wave generation in Australian waters has yet to be carried out, Hemer says that wave energy offers a “massive resource” to contribute to the Australian Government’s aim of producing 45,000 gigawatt-hours/year of additional renewable energy before 2020. “Convert 10 percent of available wave energy from a 1000-km stretch in this area to electricity, ” Hemer says, and “the quota could be achieved by wave energy alone.”

The article, ” The wave energy resource along Australia’s southern margin” by Mark Hemer and David Griffin will appear in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. http://jrse.aip.org/jrsebh/v2/i4/p043108_s1

JOURNAL OF RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (JRSE) is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) that covers all areas of renewable and sustainable energy-related fields that apply to the physical science and engineering communities. As an electronic-only, Web-based journal with rapid publication time, JRSE is responsive to the many new developments expected in this field. The interdisciplinary approach of the publication ensures that the editors draw from researchers worldwide in a diverse range of fields. See: http://jrse.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP
The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

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