Renewable Energy Sources development is important and we all agree. Some of the sources, though, are less variable and more predictable than others. I am talking about wave energy. It has advantages over other renewables such as wind and solar energy, such as a more gradual and with notice variability; more predictable source (estimates wave energy is at least three times more predictable than wind energy according to CSIRO); minimizing transmission issues, in fact approximately 60% of the world’s population lives within 60 kilometers of a coast.
The world’s context is full of examples, but I want to focus your attention with CETO, technology invented, owned and developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited. The Australian product is designed to be the simplest and most robust wave technology globally and, after 10 years of continuous development, and tens of thousands of in-ocean operational hours of testing is now nearing the end of its commercialization phase with the development and delivery of its CETO 6 product generation. The CETO technology has been independently verified by EDF – Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN).
After some prototypes and a lot of researches the company is developing right now the CETO 6. The diameter of the buoyant actuator has the most significant influence on power output and has been increased to approximately 20m from the 7m diameter 80kW unit successfully tested at the Garden Island site in 2011 and the most recent 11m diameter, 240kW units tested in 2015 at the same site. CETO 6 will also incorporate the power generation offshore, inside the buoy rather than onshore as with the current CETO 5 generation. Locating the power generation within the buoy removes the need to attach pumps, accumulators and other hydraulic components to the seabed, avoiding the requirement for offshore heavy lift vessel capacity and reducing the offshore installation and maintenance time and cost.
CETO harnesses the enormous renewable energy present in our ocean’s waves and converts it into two of the most valuable commodities underpinning the sustainable growth of the planet; zero-emission electricity and zero-emission desalinated water. The CETO system is different from other wave energy devices as it operates under water where it is safer from large storms and invisible from the shore. The fully submerged buoys drive pumps and generators that are contained offshore, within the buoy itself, with power delivered back to shore through subsea cables to power desalination plants as well as for export into the grid. The CETO tech (1) converts ocean wave energy into zero-emission electricity and desalinated water (in co-production asset, which is the first example in the world), (2) has minimal visual impact, environmental impact and attracts marine life, (3) is fully-submerged in deep water, (4) has tens of thousands of hours of in-ocean operational testing and over 10 years onshore experience, (5) is flexible and it can operates in variety of water depths, swell directions, tides and weather conditions, (6) is secure and (7) scalable.