Renewables, the hidden potential of the waves

Renewables, the hidden potential of the waves

Marcello Vallese
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From Japan to England, going by way of the Old Continent, projects that exploit the waves of reservoirs and oceans are on the increase

New technologies in the renewables sector look increasingly to the oceans and to wave swell as a potential to be exploited to produce energy. From Japan to Scotland, going by way of the Old Continent, numerous companies, groups and startups promise to exploit wave energy.
For example, the Japanese entrepreneur Atsushi Shimizu, founder of Challenergy, has designed a wind generator capable of capturing the energy potential of gale force 12 winds. Comprising vertical blades inserted between two platforms, the generator has the shape of an "eggbeater" and can withstand the impact of Japan’s most violent typhoons. The first prototype of this new solution was installed this year on the island of Okinawa and will exploit the so-called "Magnus effect" generated by rising storm currents.
But wave energy is also the key to a new and recent partnership born in Scotland between the companies Trident Energy and AWS Ocean Energy, intending to test a prototype for converting wave motion into energy. The new solution is born out of a contribution of 770 thousand pounds sterling made by Wave Energy Scotland. And this is not the only project that has recently begun exploiting wave energy. In southern England the company Lightsource Renewable Energy has recently inaugurated the first floating photovoltaic system, that promises to generate 5.8 million KW in its first year of operation. According to project leader Liv Harder, "the greatest benefits of floating PV technology is that it can exploit and render the surfaces of the many reservoirs around London and other major British cities productive."Still on the subject of renewables, a few days ago Google joined three Dutch companies to buy electricity from a wind farm built by a cooperative with over four thousand members. The energy produced by the plant will allow the Netherlands to reach its 14% "green" energy target by 2020, also allowing Google to zero the emissions of its local Data Call Center.