The Ocean’s Abundant Energy


Three red snakelike devices bobbing in the waves three miles (4.8 kilometers) off the coast of Agucadoura, Portugal, represent the first swell of what developers hope will be a rising tide of wave power projects.

Edinburgh-based Pelamis Wave Power, Ltd., (PWP) has since September been working with asset management firm Babcock & Brown, energy provider Energias de Portugal, and Efacec (a Portugese maker of electromechanical devices) on the Agucadoura project.

This first phase will cost about $13 million and generate up to 2.25 megawatts. The company hopes to by early next year begin building installing another 25 wave-energy converters to increase the output to 21 megawatts, which is expected to serve the electricity needs of more than 15,000 Portuguese households.

Earth’s oceans and rivers, pushed by wind and tugged by the moon and sun, ebb and flow over more than 70 percent of the planet, but only recently have researchers and scientists developed the materials and methods to finally harness some of that kinetic energy.

There may not yet be a market for underwater turbines or wave-riding electrical generators designed to use ocean turbulence as a source of renewable energy, but that has not stopped a handful of entrepreneurs from trying to create one.

Although all renewable energy sources