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Is wave energy conversion the future of Australia’s coastal towns?


With 85% of Australia’s population living on coastal strips around the country, our energy needs are putting more and more pressure on coastal habitat areas. Coastal population growth exerts pressure on coastal land increasing need for agriculture and housing at the expense of natural habitats & species.

So is wave energy conversion a piece of a complex puzzle to offset out needs and reduce pressure on our coastal homes?

The Federal Government is backing a wave of investment in tidal electricity generation as experts tip that marine power will be the next big thing in renewable energy.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said on Thursday it is funding the three-year project with AUD 2.49 million.To cover a portion of the cost of a collaborative project led by the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, in partnership with The University of Queensland and CSIRO.

The $5.85 million ‘Tidal Energy in Australia – Assessing Resource and Feasibility to Australia’s Future Energy Mix’ project will map the country’s tidal energy in unprecedented detail before assessing its ability to contribute to Australia’s energy needs.

With some of the largest tides in the world, Australia is ideal for this extremely reliable and low-carbon form of energy, this project will determine which areas are best suited for tidal energy farms, investigating how much energy is in the water and available at different times of the tidal cycle and whether the seafloor characteristics of chosen sites are suitable for mounting tidal turbines.

The Technology

The Protean™ Wave Energy Convertor (WEC) system is based upon internationally patented and patent pending intellectual property. The technology has a number of advantages over other wave energy technologies currently being investigated internationally by converting all 6 degrees of wave movement into energy. The low Cost Durable floating structures designed for survivability and low cost mass production and deployment Using multiple units in an array configuration and fail safe designs providing a relaible source of floating energy.

Tidal energy is the last major renewable energy resource to be mapped as part of the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Initiative funded by ARENA. ARENA has previously funded marine energy studies, including the Australian Wave Energy Atlas led by CSIRO.

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