Up to 20 million homes in Europe could be powered by clean renewable energy from the sea, according to ocean energy expert Teresa Pontes of Portugal, who was speaking at the EurOCEAN marine science and policy event in Galway today (12th May). She estimated that, by harnessing energy from waves and marine currents, Europe would produce around 200 TerraWatt (200 million megawatt) hours per year of electrical power.
“The oceans contain a huge energy resource with different origins,” said Ms. Teresa Pontes. “The most developed conversion technologies are for tidal energy, thermal energy, marine currents and ocean waves. The last two technologies are those which have received most attention in that last fifteen years, as they show the best prospects of becoming competitive in the short to medium term.”
Wave and marine current energy generation are generally considered to be environmentally benign, with the only impacts being visual intrusion and possibly noise from air turbines on shoreline wave power plants. For offshore ocean energy plants the only conflicts could come from shipping, navigation and fishing and most of these conflicts could be minimised and, in some cases, eliminated at the planning stage.
Lisa Fitzpatrick | alfa
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