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  • Jeffrey Goldfarb

Waves and Currents

Energy | Hydro | Solar | Wind | Buffalo, NY | B Corp


Expansion in Current Energy Collection

This blog has spent a lot of time discussing solar panels and wind turbines as alternative energy, but one of the strongest arguments for continuing to push for clean energy is its versatility. While burning fossil fuels comes from a limited number of resources, the ability to harness renewable energy is as vast as the imagination. Just look at Niagara Falls. People wanted to turn Niagara Falls into an energy hub since as early as the 1700s but it wasn’t until the 1890s, with Tesla’s vision, that the Falls natural power was tapped.[1] The same can be seen with all innovative developments after, and will continue to be seen as the world further invests in energy outside of fossil fuels.

Now, while Thomas Edison once said “I’d put my money on the sun” when asked about future energy technologies, one cannot ignore water. Though solar is becoming one of the fastest growing forms of clean energy (and the sun the most powerful supplier of energy the world can use), the earth is still 71% water, with 96.5% of that coming from the ocean.[2] It would be a mistake to ignore using what the planet has readily supplied, especially if it reduces our overall carbon footprint.

State of Green, an energy non-profit in Denmark is leading the charge to make their country independent of fossil fuels by 2050.[3] One of the technologies they’re using to accomplish that goal is wave power. With no negative impacts on the environment, wave power uses the natural rising and falling of waves to move pumps, which charge their sheltered generators.[4] Another benefit of wave power is its consistency: “Wave power is more predictable than wind, as waves normally continue for 6 to 8 hours after the wind drops.”[5]

This is not new technology. Collection of waves and currents date back over a decade with the first commercial offshore wave energy facility opening in 2007/2008 off the Atlantic coast of Portugal.[6] It closed not long after in 2009.[7] The problem with wave technology was never the potential, just the lack of developments in the research. But like Tesla bringing his vision to Niagara Falls, Wave Power is beginning to find its vision.

Each form of renewable energy does have a drawback. For example, wind energy can be volatile and unpredictable; solar used to be expensive and could only collect during daily hours. Their strength comes from numbers. By further developing new and existing forms of renewable energy, the world will find permanent solutions to the energy question.


Energy | Hydro | Solar | Wind | Buffalo, NY | B Corp

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[1] https://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_niagara.html

[2] https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

[3] https://stateofgreen.com/en/pages/about-state-of-green

[4] https://stateofgreen.com/en/sectors/solar-other-renewables/wave-power

[5] https://stateofgreen.com/en/sectors/solar-other-renewables/wave-power

[6] http://www.rnp.org/node/wave-tidal-energy-technology

[7] http://e360.yale.edu/features/why_wave_power_has_lagged_far_behind_as_energy_source

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