The Australians have just evaluated their potential for producing wave-based energy, within an area stretching from Gerlandton in Western Australia to King Island in Tasmania, and found out that by only using 10% of this area’s potential they could meed 50 percent of the entire country’s need.
“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.
But wave power is still underdeveloped compared to wind, for example. Dr. Hemer estimates that the Australians will still need a decade or so to make wave power really matter to the grid. “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.
He also compares the two power sources: “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.”
The research puts emphasis on the best locations where wave power could be harvested along the proposed line.