S.D.E. Energy Ltd. is a Tel Aviv, Israel manufacturer and marketer of Sea Wave Power Plants - utilizing sea wave energy to produce electricity economically, and in an environmentally-friendly manner claiming that their system an generate electricity for 2 cents.
SDE describes their system as follows: a method of using sea wave motion to generate hydraulic pressure, which is then transformed into electricity. The system takes advantage of the wave's speed, height, depth, rise and fall, and the flow beneath the approaching wave, thus producing energy more efficiently and cheaper than both other sea-wave and conventional technologies which require vast amounts of land space. The system has a potential to produce a net of 38kWh per meter of beachfront occupied (worldwide average). Manufacturing cost for a 1MW system is from US$ 650K and production cost is the lowest in the market. The erection cost of a 1MW S.D.E. station is from $650,000 while a comparable station costs $1,500,000 from coal, $900,000 from natural gas, $1,500,000 from solar sources, and $3,000,000 from wind. Using S.D.E. technology, production of electricity is 2 cents, compared to 3 cents from coal, 3.5 cents from natural gas, 12 cents from solar energy (when is that without subsidies?), and 3.6 cents from wind.
The company website states: "If we receive a letter of order from your government to purchase electricity for 20 years, we will raise all the necessary funds to build the power plant. Our power plants produce electricity at a cost of 2 cents per kW and cost from $650000/MW to build."
Commenting, Shmuel Ovadia, Managing Director of SDE Energy, said: "Our system is built on one side of wave gatherers, which can also serve as breakers. It is composed of a system of channels of hydraulic oil, whereby the rise of the pistons creates pressure on the hydraulic oil. The hydraulic oil is accumulated in a pressurized container and is then directed toward a hydraulic motor. This energy turns an electrical generator, which produces electricity."
Wikepedia offers this insight as to how the system works: A buoyant metal plate is attached at one side to a concrete seawall. Waves press the plate up (in a cantilever action) and drive an hydraulic ram. The hydraulic system is connected to a hydroelectric system.
Eight energy modules have been built and tested. A full-scale oceanfront model was operated in Israel and produced 40 kW/h for 8 months. According to an undated presentation, available on their website, the next step in their development may be:
- Constructing and Operating a Power Station in Ashdod, Israel. – The power plant is expected to be built within 36 months.
- It has been assumed that the power plant will be operated during 75% of the year with an output of 90%.
- As agreed with the national electric company, the sale price of 1 kW/h will be 5.25¢.
- The expected annual revenue from a 10MW power plant is approx. $3.1 million with a net profit of $1.6 million.
- The initial investment for a 10MW power plant is $6 million (including additional expenses) and ROI within 3 years.
S.D.E. has been granted a license without a tender by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade to build a 50MW power plant which will operate for 20 years.
According to SDE the expected annual revenue from a 1000MW power plant operating at 90%, with output 75% of the year is approx. $310 Million, and net profit of around $160 Million. The system is designed to return the initial investment within three years.
SDE states that its wave energy technology was developed to provide protection to marinas, beaches, and private property subject to destructive or annoying wave / wake forces together with the utilization of wave energy. SDE wave energy proposes to use the technology as a "wave filter" in order to reduce the damaging effect of waves on the coast and convert it to energy. The construction has hydrodynamic and practical advantages as compared to "normal" breakwaters. Marinas and coastal shores are often subject to the damaging wave and erosionary forces associated with violent storms.
S.D.E.'s development and testing has been approved and partially financed by the Chief Scientist of Israel. Currently, the company is in late stage negotiations for the sale of power plants, with a projected value of several billion dollars. S.D.E. is seeking capital investments to construct the plant in Israel, to meet current demand for power plants using S.D.E.'s technology, and for current and future marketing efforts worldwide for this technology.
According to Tree Hugger, SDE is set to build the first wave energy harvesting power plant of its kind in Sri Lanka. According to a company press release, S.D.E. recently began talks with Sri Lankan officials to construct and install a 200 MW power plant at an estimated cost of $130 million. If negotiations are successful, they say, the plant will be the first of its kind to produce electricity at a commercial quantity from sea waves.
The World Energy Council estimates that 2TW of energy could be harvested from the world’s oceans, the equivalent of twice the world’s electricity production.