I like to think I'm pretty bullish about the potential of ocean energy, but the guys at Carnegie Corp are thinking a lot bigger than I am, claiming that Australia has a resource base of 171 GW of wave power and that it could provide 35% of our power needs in this report from the SMH - Nation could be powered by waves: report.
Clean power developer Carnegie Corporation says more than a third of Australia's base-load power needs could be economically generated by wave technology, according to a report commissioned by the company.
The report, compiled by RPS MetOcean, says that Australia has a potential near-shore wave energy resource of about 171,000 megawatts (MW) - four times the country's total installed power generation capacity, Carnegie said.
"This report further supports Carnegie's view that Australia has the world's best wave energy resource - a resource we hope will be utilised through technologies such as CETO for base-load power generation," managing director Michael Ottaviano said in a statement.
CETO technology uses submerged units anchored to the sea floor that move with the motion of passing waves, driving the pumps which in turn pressurise seawater that is delivered ashore through a pipeline. The high-pressure seawater is used to drive hydroelectric turbines and generate base-load electricity.
Carnegie said a "conservative" ten per cent of Australia's calculated near-shore wave resource is estimated to be economically extractable. This means that around 35 per cent of Australia's current power usage could be met by harnessing wave energy, the company said.