SA calls for wave power revolution

By Staff Writer

South Australian Premier Mike Rann has announced that the State Government is on track to become a world leader in renewable energy, thanks to the launch of wave power pilots along the state’s coast.

“South Australia is currently on track to reach its target to boost the proportion of renewable energy generated and consumed in South Australia to 20 per cent by 2014,” Mr Rann said in a press statement.

“Southern Australia is said to have one of the world’s best wave energy resources and the potential for this energy technology will maintain our leadership.”

The SA Government has issued its first wave power licence to Carnegie Corporation, a Perth based company that has already tested fully-submerged wave power technology in Western Australia.

Carnegie Corporation will test a site along South Australia’s Limestone Coast, near Port MacDonnell. The State Government said the company is also working towards construction of a demonstration 50 MV wave power station.

“It is one of two companies looking to South Australia to trial its wave power technology along our coastline, and we want to encourage others to do the same,” Mr Rann said.

“Our message to these companies is that the South Australian Government will do all it can to open the way for renewable energy investment in the State.”

Mr Rann said SA had attracted more than half of Australia’s investment in wind and geothermal energy through regulatory changes and anticipated to do the same with wave power.

“SA now has 58 per cent of the nation’s installed wind generation capacity and more than 70 per cent of Australia’s geothermal exploration activity,” he said.

“I have directed my Department to prepare a similar framework specifically for the wave and tidal sector.”

Carnegie Corporation managing director Dr Michael Ottaviano said the South Australian coast received a “world class energy resource” that added to the state’s leadership in renewable energy.

Carnegie’s CETO wave power system is anchored to the ocean floor, while submerged buoys tethered to seabed pump units move with the motion of passing waves. This drives the pumps to pressurise seawater and deliver it ashore via pipelines. Onshore, high-pressure seawater powers hydro turbines to generate base-load, zero-emission electricity.

It is expected that within a few years the technology will have the potential to feed a substantial amount of base-load power into the national electricity grid.

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