The tides hold hope as a source of energy
Friday, August 4, 2006
There is more riding the giant waves here than surfers, thanks to a growing number of scientists, engineers and investors.
A group of entrepreneurs is harnessing the perpetual motion of the ocean and turning it into a commodity in high demand – energy. Right now, machines of various shapes and sizes are being tested from the North Sea to the Pacific to see how they capture energy from waves and tides.
The industry is still in its infancy, but it is gaining attention because of inventors like Dean Corren, who have lugged their wave and tidal prototypes around the world, even during the years when money and interest dried up.
“In the long run, this could become one of the most competitive sources of energy,” said Max Carcas, head of business development for Ocean Power Delivery of Edinburgh. His company manufactures a snakelike wave-energy machine the size of a passenger train, called the Pelamis, that generates energy by absorbing waves as it undulates on the ocean’s surface.