The immense worldwide consumption of energy is still largely based on limited fossil resources, and nuclear power with the risks of emergency and long-term implications as with Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. A (re)orientation towards naturally available but consistently renewable sources of energy is taking place. It is a planetary imperative that calls for adaption of applied technologies and investment in new ones. Energy efficiency must be improved while conserving energy at the same time in order to avoid adverse effects (rebounding).
Our oceans are overfished, polluted, acetifying, warming up, and they lack oxygen. The interaction of these problems may lead to widespread marine life problems only comparable to a similar phenomenon some 50 million years ago. Nevertheless, recent research findings show that the oceans can be used as inexhaustible resources of mechanical and thermal energy, but must be used intelligently to substitute potentially destructive consumption of fossil and nuclear resources, and to prevent further marine degradation. Vast areas of the Northern Atlantic could supply Western Europe with energy derived from waves, tidal power and wind – practically all-season. Storage of marine surplus energy and feeding electricity into the grid will challenge both the manufacturing industry and the regulating authorities.
Visit the website of the International Conference on Ocean Energy ICOE 2012 for interesting contacts.
On the drawing board
- STREAMFIELD, a system now submitted for patenting, is a technical concept for Deep Water Windfarming: conventional, already highly efficient wind turbines carried by floating, weight stabilized masts with aerodynamic profiles are embedded in a net of semisubmersible, anchored cables. The system works in ocean depths beyond 150m. STREAMFIELD can be combined with underwater adiabatic air pressure storage and ‘methanisation’ of CO2 released by gas and coal based thermal power stations, using existing gas pipelines for distribution, and thereby improving the degree of the overall efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness. STREAMFIELD aims to substitute, in the hopefully not too far future nuclear power plants, as long as there no existing, inherently safe, nuclear technologies. Illustration STREAMFIELD
- SEASTALLION: Maintenance free, long-lasting, on-the-spot, disposable, wave power station.