Welcome to the Energy Blog


  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.

    Jim


  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE ENERGY BLOG BY EMAIL

After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum

Statistics

Blog powered by Typepad

« FYI: Benefits of Combined Heat and Power in Corn Ethanol Plants | Main | FYI: Solar Cell Production Jumps 50 Percent in 2007 »

December 28, 2007

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b5da69e200e54fc895da8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference FYI: Washington Wave Power Project Gets FERC Approval:

Comments

Cyril R.

How long would it take to get that much wave power up and running?

Kit P

AquaBuOY 2.0 MIA. Somewhere on the ocean floor off the coast near Newport, Oregon.

The real question is what is the mean time to failure. The ocean is a brutal and dangerous environment. It never ceases to amaze me that same loons who worry about radiation have or the danger of coal mining have no qualms about asking people to take unnecessary risk to make a meager amount of electricity.

DaveMart

Readers of this thread might be interested in this project in the UK:
http://www.southwestrda.org.uk/news/release.asp?ReleaseID=2136
This will test out a number of different wavepower ideas by providing a central hub to take the power ashore.
One of the four technologies being tested, Pelamis, have already got equipment operating in Portugal:
http://www.power-technology.com/projects/pelamis/
Waveroller is also a playerwhich has already tested a prototype:
http://www.aw-energy.com/page_6_1.html

bigTom

Kit does have an important point, the ocean environment has been a difficult one. Widespread adoption of any of these technologies is unlikely until they can be shown to be sufficiently reliable, and low maintanance. That will take a good bit of time. The initial demonstration plants are all pretty small, if all goes well they could be considered as confidence building steps.

Green Assassin Brigade

I though finavera just wrote off it's 5 million investment in aquabouy after the recent tests results were not good enought?

DaveMart

bigTom,
I agree the ocean environment is very challenging, but at least they are testing at the right kind of scale.
The idea I thought was nuts was the UK saying that they intended to deploy 33GW of off-shore wind.
We have loads of experience in off-shore platforms, but from an oil rig you generate oil worth around 60 times as much as the value of the electric from wind turbine, and the lower revenues from the wind turbine don't leave you a lot of money to build something robust enough to cope.
In addition, you have stuck a ruddy great 100 meter lever on top of your structure!
Generating power from waves is pretty challenging in that environment, with the salt water and the battering doing your equipment no good, but at least you haven't got that leverage operating on it.
It's worth taking a look at though, providing the costs are kept under control, and they don't go leaping into major development too quickly costing everyone megabucks.

Clee

Green Assassin wrote:
I though finavera just wrote off it's 5 million investment in aquabouy after the recent tests results were not good enought?

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=50510
Finavera spokesman Clark said "The actual data we got was positive and validated all the modeling"... Clark said the buoy's sinking would not slow Finavera's wave energy development and the company is working on its third generation buoy - the AquaBuOY 3.0 - as planned.

bigTom

DaveMart:
I doubt offshore wind is all that risky. It has already been done at at least moderate scale, at least in shallow water. Offshore turbines tend to be sized larger than onshore, and servicing is either by boat or helicopter, but at least all the moving parts are far above the sea. Clearly wave or current exploiting power gen can't keep everything moving out of the water.
I agree about the scale for the wave stuff, big enough to be interesting, but not a huge gamble either.

fjh

We're building a small tidal water wheel, using kinetic energy from incoming and outgoing tides...Maine has 10'--12' tides.

Many issues with moving parts in a marine environment...weather, microorganisms, and salt water.

Amazing how much stuff will grow on the bottom of a boat over the summer; bouys will become micro habitats, unless covered with copper sulphate paints.

My water wheel will have 'plug-in' components for easy replacement.

Because they are small enough to fit under a dock or along bridge abutment; they can be arrayed to generate enough power for a home.

Electronics and salt water are another matter altogether; along with sea gull crap, etc.

Level action/wave compression/ and other devices have long been invented and fallen by the wayside.

I wish these people well; but history is neither on their side, or mine.

DaveMart

big Tom,
I don't think off-shore wind is risky at all, at least in the sense that they can undoubtedly build it, and they are going to do it in a lot shallower waters than many of the off-shore rigs.
There are also a lot of good ideas for further reducing costs.
What is risky though and can costs billions is if you scale up too quickly - the costs of the projected 33GW for Britain are likely to be horrendous if they use current technology, instead of taking things at a sensible pace.

bigTom

DaveMart:
You might be correct about the pace. Not only because a too rapid deployment could lockin yesterdays technology, but because the market for wind turbines is being seriously affected driving up the price for everyone. It must be good times for the makers of the turbines though.

Kit P


“I don't think off-shore wind is risky at all, at least in the sense that they can undoubtedly build it, ..”

I am referring to the risk of not making through the work day alive. I read a news story about a truck driver dying in an accident near the coast in Oregon. Local environmentalists wanted to know if any fuel spilled and hurt fish.

DaveMart

I don't think many of the renewables are very safe - hydroelectric is in many places balanced on a knife edge for catastrophic collapses, with poor engineering in some earthquake zones, and as for wind anytime you are fooling around at a height of 100 meters you have some risk.
They would have to go some to do worse than the truly appalling record of coal though.
Of course modern engineering in the developed world is much safer, and emissions are greatly reduced, but overall if someone came along and suggested mining coal to produce energy and that was a new energy source it would never be approved.
Nuclear has got a pretty good record though, at least if you are not in Russia.

petr

the ocean is a brutal environment indeed..
so is the bottom of a coalmine..

but we have also had thousands of years of sailing using free wind energy nonetheless.

Bob Wallace

"Nuclear has got a pretty good record though, at least if you are not in Russia."

And if you ignore the near misses....

Cyril R.

hydroelectric is in many places balanced on a knife edge for catastrophic collapses

The opposite is true. One of the main reasons many dams have been constructed is flood control. One has to compare with the hypothetical situation if no dams had been built. In most cases the result is positive.

And then there are the agricultural (irrigation) and drinking water resevoir benefits a lot of dams provide.

DaveMart

Cyril, I am not against dams, that would be daft, but just the same from the stuff I have read it appears that some of the engineering is a bit optimistic, especially in earthquake zones.
I would sooner live downwind of a reactor (in fact, I do, some 15 miles from Hinkley Point) than downstream of some dams.

Cyril R.

You're not getting the message Dave. Dams are often not an option - as in nuclear vs hydroelectricity - but a necessity because of that other function they provide: to control floods.

Comparing risk of nuclear vs dams would be unfair for those dams that provide flood control. And that's not even considering the ancillary benefits, such as providing fresh water for drinking and irrigation. Which actually reduces other risks, such as damage from droughts. Although that won't be a problem in the UK won't you say :)

Of course, if you'd rather not live downstream a dam then that's your decision.

A real good reason to move would be if you live in the Three Gorges Dam area that is about to be flooded...

Ah well. Every power source has externalities.

DaveMart

With all respect, I don''t think you are getting the message, Cyril.
I have clearly said that of course I am not against dams - all that I was saying was that a lot of the engineering seems to be not properly done, which could apply to any technology, but there do seem to be a fair number of dams, I believe particularly in the Sates, which are not in good condition or up to the job.
This implies nothing at all about whether you should build dams, it's just saying that it should be done properly, and was originally posted to point out that there are risks in all technologies if you don't get them right, and renewables are no more exempt from this than anything else.
Do you get my message now? :-)

Cyril R.

I'm getting that part all right, of course I understand what you're saying.

It is your assertion on the risk of dam catastrophe that is just pulled out of it's context, because the risk of not building the dam is often greater than building it.

Just imagine what would have happened if Hoover Dam didn't get built. Add the total flood damage up that would certainly have occured over the years, and even if it collapses right now (unlikely as this is one of the best dams in the world) it still has net positive effect. Even when all the generated electricity isn't counted in.

Nuclear power is safe? Relatively yes very safe but not quite fullproof either just like any other technology as you say. There's always the human factor too.

So why would you prefer a nuke over a dam? How can you really know one is safer than the other? If a dam contains structural flaws, how do you know the same flaws aren't in the nuclear powerplant?

I'm not trying to pit one against the other, just thought it a bit weird that you said you'd rather lived near a nuke than a dam.

Cyril R.

Perhaps you think heavy earthquakes pose no risk to nuclear powerplants? In the US, nuclear plants are built to withstand 'credible earthquakes'. Japan has had some very close calls with this, and the nukes haven't yet been tested against the heaviest of earthquakes.

Personally, in heavy earthquake prone areas, I wouldn't like to live neither near a dam nor a nuke.

But then I'd rather not live in a heavy earthquake prone area at all :)

DaveMart

Cyril, I've just come across this guy's post on nuclear risks, which to me carry a fair amount of weight since he was a radiation Safety officer- it is Dan M's posts I am referring to:
http://science-community.sciam.com/thread.jspa?threadID=300005617&start=135
http://science-community.sciam.com/thread.jspa?threadID=300005617&start=165
The risks sound relatively low from this.
On your point about breaching nuclear reactors, I wonder what they are referring to when they talk about a breach?
If they mean some of the ancillary equipment might be damaged with losses of low level radioactivity from cooling water and so on, that is one level of risk - extremely low.
If they are talking about somehow breaking the main containment vessel whilst it is still running flat out, that is another, and I would have thought pretty difficult to do.
In any case, some containment is better than none, and producing more radioactive release than Chernobyl might be difficult to do.
If Dan is anything like right, then maybe a hundred or so deaths might be very much the top estimate.
A couple of thousand deaths from a dam burst is easily imagined, and has happened many times.
I don't really loose any sleep at all because of the nuclear plant 15miles from my home - but then again large earthquakes are pretty rare in Somerset! :-0

seandalton

I'm not trying to pit one against the other, just thought it a bit weird that you said you'd rather lived near a nuke than a dam.
============================
seandalton
Washington Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Water Damage Restoration

There are a lot of good ideas for further reducing costs.
What is risky though and can costs billions is if you scale up too quickly - the costs of the projected 33GW for Britain are likely to be horrendous if they use current technology, instead of taking things at a sensible pace.

energy drinks

If you are looking for the best energy drinks, you might consider YoliTruth. Yoli is a favored drink by many people because of the active ingredients said to provide what the body needs to maintain total health

Jackets and coats

Regardless of he thinks to be assorted, you can the heart have the induction, regardless of he did has been assorted, you could stand in his angle pondered. The understanding needs to exchange, understands needs to communicate

backup camera

Never heard of Makah Bay, I've only been to Washington once.

SEO Services

How much is two megawatts of wave energy?

Air Purifiers

Wave energy is a wonderful technology, I hope we can harness its' energy.

Tours in Venice

That looks like the top of a submarine! Is that the device?

furniture stores los angeles

It's 2012 in 1 week, do we have this energy yet?

dentist los angeles

I am so glad they have these wave projects going!

fashion books

Good info, I hope this is working out.

acting classes los angeles

This seems like a really amazing project. I hope it's going well.

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .




Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles