Monday, December 17, 2007
There's a lot of energy in waves. Every sailor knows it. The photo above is of 2003 Laser World Champion Gustavo Lima catching a ride downwind on a typical wave during last year's Caribbean Laser Midwinter Championship in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Can't you just feel the rush of adrenaline as he takes off down the wave? Mmmmmm. Don't you wish that was you? It could be. 21 days from today I'm going to be riding that wave (or one very much like it) in Cabarete. Come join me.
But what about all that energy in waves? With all the recent news about climate change and greenhouse gases and the need to start using more renewable energy sources, isn't it about time we started using some of that energy in waves to warm our homes and cook our turkeys and light our Xmas trees this holiday season?
It sure is. So I was especially pleased to read that my recently adopted state, Rhode Island, is planning to to develop two wave-energy facilities off the coasts of Point Judith and Block Island that would convert energy from the waves into electricity. Rhode Island is partnering with an Australian company, Oceanlinx, to develop the facilities. Here's a picture of what they will look like.
I've no idea whether this project is actually going to happen. Clearly there are all sorts of political, legislative, financial and technical obstacles to overcome. I'm sure some local water users are going to come up with all sorts of objections why the facilities shouldn't be built in their backyards. And even if these generators are built, who knows if the power they generate will be economic? And why on earth are we using an Australian company? Aren't there American companies who know how to do this stuff?
But I am kind of proud of my little ocean state for leading the way on this issue. As the rest of the world loses patience with the failure of the Bush administration to take the perils of climate change seriously it's good to know that at least one state government, led by our governor Donald Carcieri, is trying to address the issue.
Ride the wave, Don dude.