Wave Power

This animation shows how a Pelamis Wave Energy Converter works. I don't have any numbers on the cost per kilowatt hour for wave power but I have to say, it looks simple and cheap. What's more, wave energy is as reliable as the spinning of the earth. Also, in a scenario straight out of a cyberpunk novel, Google is looking to build massive off shore data centers powered by Pelamis Wave Energy Converters.



October 27, 2008 at 1:18 PM

The economics of wave power machine are questionable. While the operations cost may be relatively low (i.e. no need to feed it oil or coal), the capital cost to build would be pretty high. Consider just a few of the issues: location permits, establishing the cable, moving the pre-built structure into place, maintenance and repair. The biggest issue is likely to be the permitting. Unless the device is built in international waters, it will need approval from at least one governmental agency, more likely multiple national and local agencies. Building the devices will cost quite a bit, especially relative to the return on investment (how much power can be generated by one segment interface?). Fancy idea -- low probability of ever coming to pass unless heavily subsidized.