Is wave power the clean energy that can beat climate change?


All realms of our outdoor pursuits could be affected by the realities of climate change, and we’re already seeing some of those effects.

Unless we all build our own portable wind turbines, the rush to figure out clean energy solutions is more dire than ever. While solar and wind have garnered the most attention under the Obama administration, a new project is trying to prove that wave power could be the most efficient clean energy of the future.

RELATED: Outdoor recreation industry stands to lose a lot if climate change continues

As reported by SURFER, Western Australia’s Carnegie Wave Energy has been testing a plan, called CETO, that is producing impressive results, and selling energy to the Australian government.

The system consists of underwater pumps and buoys tethered to the ocean floor that, when moved by wave action, send water in pipes back to a turbine system on land that produces hydroelectric power. The water is also then desalinated to create fresh drinking water.

Imagine how much energy a big day at Waimea Bay could produce for Hawaii. Photo: Courtesy of Zak Noyle/SURFER

As SURFER notes, “Since everything is underwater, the whole system is invisible, so there’d be little NIMBY complaining about eyesore power stations in the ocean. The buoys also act as artificial reefs, another side bonus.”

Despite the saltwater being detrimental to the longterm viability of the submerged machinery, the ocean’s waves could one day be just the thing that saves us. And all this time we’ve been tuning out those stoner, hippy surfers claiming that surfing saves …


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