Wave power all at sea until [political] tide turns
Tidal and wave power; the technology is here and improving. According to this article, Scotland is on the ball, and one of the biggest obstacles in the UK is lack of interest, imagination and will on the part of the People's representatives- the same people who apparently think resource wars that kill fighters on both sides as well as innocent civilians, cause environmental and social devastation, and damage international relations are the right policy for establishing energy and political security?
Extract all the wave power you can from the Atlantic coast of Scotland and it would add up to the equivalent of about four nuclear power stations, says David MacKay, professor of natural philosophy in the physics department at Cambridge University. “It’s a very large amount. A ballpark estimate of what is required to get Scotland off fossil fuels is either 10 nuclear reactors, or 10,000 wind turbines.”
In terms of raw power, MacKay estimates that waves approaching Scotland’s coastline represent 30 gigawatts (GW). The tides beneath the surface have even more power — 60GW says MacKay. He calculates that 12.5GW of electrical power could be extracted from tide and wave — almost half of Scotland’s total energy consumption of 26GW.
With the UK government setting a target of 15% for clean energy by 2020 — and the Scottish Nationalist government an ambitious 50% target — the sea can no longer be considered as too challenging in which to work.
So why are we not forging ahead with this technology? The world’s first commercial wave farm has been developed and built by an Edinburgh firm, Pelamis Wave Power. Three of their football-pitch-sized turbines are bobbing about in the Atlantic — but off Portugal, not Scotland.
The government in Lisbon offers enough subsidy to make it commercially viable. The UK government — energy matters are reserved to London — is less encouraging, according to leading scientists.
And nothing yet in the US:
EERE Consumer's Guide: Ocean Tidal Power