Riding a Wave of International Interest
There are nearly 10 WEC companies close to full commercial stage in Europe and Australia; several are already engaged with utilities, meaning they will go online. The CORES project (Components for Ocean Renewable Energy Systems), led by Dr. Tony Lewis, Director of the Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre, University College Cork, Ireland, has been a collaborative effort by 13 partners in seven countries to harness the "world's largest remaining unexploited renewable energy resource." CORES demonstrates how international collaboration can bring wave energy online and its sea-test results have been very encouraging.
EWTEC Chair AbuBakr Bahaj notes that "many countries have embarked on policies that are highly reliant on the expansion of large-scale offshore wind energy to electric power, with only small attention being directed to [wave] renewable energy." He notes, "it is important not to marginalize the utilization of other ocean resources" by focusing only on wind.
Until Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i (MCBH) stepped forward, Hawaii's policies have been primarily limited to wind and solar, thereby ignoring the vast and powerful non-polluting natural energy source surrounding our islands. The fuel – the waves – are free, unlike imported fossil fuel the utilities use to power our islands. Thanks to the leadership of MCBH, Hawai‘i will soon tap into our wave resources, ultimately reducing the cost of power and our addiction to oil.
Representative Cynthia Thielen • State Capitol, Room 443 • 415 South Beretania Street • Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 • Phone: (808) 586-6480