An atlas report from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) outlines the monstrous wave energy potential of the country's southern coastline.
The report, Ocean Power for Australia -- Waves, Tides, and Ocean Currents [pdf], outlines that if Australia could harness just 10% of the wave energy produced, it would meet all of its current electricity consumption.
"If we look at the sustained energy resource along the southern coastline - and we're looking between Geraldton in West Australia and southern tip of Tasmania -- that has a sustained wave energy resource of about five times larger than Australia's present day electricity consumption," said Dr. Mark Hemer from The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.
"We figured out that if we could harness just 10 per cent of the wave energy along a 1,000km strip of the southern coast, then that would be enough to meet the Australian Government's renewable energy targets of 20 per cent renewable energy before 2020."
Of course, this doesn't happen overnight. The predicted timeline would be somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade. And Australia's wave energy projects of late have had considerable troubles. But Dr. Hemer attributes these recent troubles to wave energy's infancy stages.
"Wave energy really is a baby at the moment -- there's currently only about four megawatts of wave energy generating capacity installed globally," he said.
"If you compare that to wind energy, there's about 200,000 megawatts of installed capacity, or 50,000 times more, so wave energy is a long way behind on the cost learning curve."
But the latest report provides a promising continuum for ongoing research. Efforts and further study can now be concentrated to specific areas.
After that comes the more arduous task of convincing investors about the relatively new technology and its durability.
Learn more about wave energy at eBoom's Emerging Energy Learning Page.
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