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Archive for the ‘wave related’ Category

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the first hydrokinetic energy project permit to Finavera Renewables Ocean Energy Ltd. for a 1MW project off the coast of Washington that will employ aquabouys to generate electricity.

It appears that the jurisdictional dispute described in an earlier post has been resolved. This blog entry contains a link to a statement on wave energy by the Surfrider Foundation.

If done in a mindful manner, wave energy can produce electricity in a much cleaner manner than fossil fuels. I know the proper way to harness wave energy though:

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After a bit of surfing, I’m back to blogging.

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Surfrider has issued a Statement on Wave Energy in Oregon. Two previous blog entries (one & two) here have served as a distraction.

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“Drive less, surf more” is the best advice I have heard on mitigating human GHG emissions. Surfers serve as an indicator subspecies. Spending time at the interface of wind and wave, a surfer’s health reflects the state of the atmospheric and aquatic environments. If you ever enjoy spending time on the moist margins, here is how climate change might change your coastal environments.

“Do you have any advice for a traveler?”
“Yes. Get a beach house.”

“A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind.”

“A beach house doesn’t even have to be on the beach. Though the best ones are. We all like to congregate,” he went on, “at boundary conditions.”
“Really?” said Arthur.
“Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.”
Arthur got terribly excited. this was exactly the sort of thing he’d been promised in the brochure. Here was a man who seemed to be moving through some kind of Escher space saying really profound things about all sorts of stuff.

“You come to me for advice, but you can’t cope with anything you don’t recognize.”

–from Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless, pp. 80-81

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It looks like wave energy actually is getting some legislative attention. See this article, and that article. Could both authors have read my last blog entry? The Oregon State University picture I used in the last entry was not even on the first page in a Google image search.

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Although most of the attention is focused on offshore wind power, the jurisdictional dispute between the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) involves all forms of ocean energy. Future plans for offshore carbon sequestration could also be involved. The dispute arose when the Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted jurisdiction for offshore energy projects to MMS. FERC, however, had already taken jurisdiction over a wave energy project, claiming that it was considered a “hydroelectric” energy project under the Federal Power Act (see AquaEnergy Group, 102 FERC para. 61242 (2003)). This overlap in jurisdiction has led to conflict. Companies proposing ocean energy projects petitioned Congress to resolve the conflict. In response, the two agencies claim to be working on an MOU that would clarify jurisdiction. It is likely that MMS will retain authority over leasing and siting; FERC will probably will probably have jurisdiction over permits to construct.

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The idea of sequestering carbon by introducing iron into the ocean to fertilize phytoplankton blooms has been around at least since John Martin began advocating it in the 1980s. Several experiments have been conducted without success. Now that CO2 emissions are beginning to have a cost, and emissions reduction patents could bring millions in profit, iron fertilization is being revisited. It seems so simple, dump some iron in the ocean, phytoplankton gobble it up, die, then sink to the ocean floor. Yet the complication are myriad. Read this entry and comments on the Real Climate blog. Here is the Wikipedia article. The issue of ocean acidification is not unrelated. Don’t fool with Mother Ocean.

Update: Researchers have found that the Southern Ocean is nearly saturated with CO2. See also Science magazine’s online news for 17 May 2007, which includes the story “Don’t Bet on Bloomin’ Plankton“. The story explains that recent research questions the role that plankton blooms play in sequestering carbon. Plankton might actually be a net source of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Moreover, despite what the U.S. president says, GHG emissions appear to increasing.

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