Wave power in Australia

Last updated

Wave power in Australia is being developed as the country has a long and largely deep-water coastline. It is one of several regions of the world where wave power projects are being considered.

Wave power Transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work

Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water. A machine that exploits wave power is a wave energy converter (WEC).


In early 2015 the Perth wave energy project was commissioned.


Ocean Power Technologies (O.P.T.) is a US-owned renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves. The company's PowerBuoy technology is scalable to hundreds of megawatts and the generated energy from Wave Power is supplied to the grid via submarine cables. Projects are now underway around the world.

Portland, Victoria City in Victoria, Australia

Portland is a small city in Victoria, Australia, and is the oldest European settlement in the state. It is also the main urban centre in the Shire of Glenelg and is located on Portland Bay.

Oceanlinx is a company created in 1997, specialised in renewable energy and especially in ocean energy conversion. Originally named Energetech, it will be renamed Oceanlinx in 2007. The main technology is based on Wave Energy Converter "WEC" which is a device that uses wave energy and converts it into electrical energy. The WEC operating principle are numerous but Oceanlinx technology focuses on the oscillating water column principle. Oceanlinx company was created in Australia and the technology has been developed over the past twenty years. In 2014, Oceanlinx entered receivership before its technology, intellectual property, brand and trademark were sold to Wave Power Renewables Limited in Hong Kong. Since then, Wave Power Renewables Limited has been developing the technology.

See also

Related Research Articles

Hydropower energy derived from falling or running water

Hydropower or water power is power derived from the energy of falling water or fast running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower from many kinds of watermills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as gristmills, sawmills, textile mills, trip hammers, dock cranes, domestic lifts, and ore mills. A trompe, which produces compressed air from falling water, is sometimes used to power other machinery at a distance.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity type of electric energy storage system using two reservoirs of water connected with a pump and a turbine

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH), or pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), is a type of hydroelectric energy storage used by electric power systems for load balancing. The method stores energy in the form of gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest.

Grid energy storage

Grid energy storage is a collection of methods used to store electrical energy on a large scale within an electrical power grid. Electrical energy is stored during times when production exceeds consumption, and returned to the grid when production falls below consumption.

The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter was a technology that used the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The machine was made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves pass; it is this motion which is used to generate electricity.

Osmotic power, salinity gradient power or blue energy is the energy available from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and river water. Two practical methods for this are reverse electrodialysis (RED) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO). Both processes rely on osmosis with membranes. The key waste product is brackish water. This byproduct is the result of natural forces that are being harnessed: the flow of fresh water into seas that are made up of salt water.

Renewable energy in Australia

Renewable energy in Australia deals with efforts that have been and continue to be made in Australia to quantify and expand the use of renewable energy in the generation of electricity, as fuel in transport and in thermal energy. Renewable energy is created through electricity generation using renewable sources, such as wind, hydro, landfill gas, geothermal, solar PV and solar thermal.

The Wave Hub is a wave power research project. The project is developed approximately 10 miles (16 km) off Hayle, on the north coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The hub was installed on the seabed in September 2010, and is a 'socket' sitting on the seabed for wave energy converters to be plugged into. It will have connections to it from arrays of up to four kinds of wave energy converter. A cable from the hub to main land will take electrical power from the devices to the electric grid. The total capacity of the hub will be 20 MWe. The estimated cost of the project is £28 million.

Renewable energy in Africa

The developing nations of Africa are popular locations for the application of renewable energy technology. Currently, many nations already have small-scale solar, wind, and geothermal devices in operation providing energy to urban and rural populations. These types of energy production are especially useful in remote locations because of the excessive cost of transporting electricity from large-scale power plants. The applications of renewable energy technology has the potential to alleviate many of the problems that face Africans every day, especially if done in a sustainable manner that prioritizes human rights.


CETO is a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power and directly desalinates freshwater through reverse osmosis. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia. In early 2015 a CETO 5 production installation was commissioned and connected to the grid. As of January 2016 all the electricity generated is being purchased to contribute towards the power requirements of HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, Western Australia. Some of the energy will also be used directly to desalinate water.

Floating wind turbine offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. Floating wind farms have the potential to significantly increase the sea area available for offshore wind farms, especially in countries with limited shallow waters, such as Japan. Locating wind farms farther offshore can also reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.


Evopod is a unique tidal energy device being developed by a UK-based company Oceanflow Energy Ltd for generating electricity from tidal streams and ocean currents. It can operate in exposed deep water sites where severe wind and waves also make up the environment.

The Oyster is a hydro-electric wave energy device that uses the motion of ocean waves to generate electricity. It is made up of a Power Connector Frame (PCF), which is bolted to the seabed, and a Power Capture Unit (PCU). The PCU is a hinged buoyant flap that moves back and forth with movement of the waves. The movement of the flap drives two hydraulic pistons that feed high-pressured water to an onshore hydro-electric turbine, which drives a generator to make electricity. Oyster is stationed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) at its Billia Croo site in Orkney, Scotland.

Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. Some of this energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.

Seawater desalination in Australia

Australia is the driest habitable continent on Earth and its installed desalination capacity comprises around 1% of the world’s total. Until a few decades ago, Australia met its demands for water by drawing freshwater from dams and water catchments. As a result of the water supply crisis during the severe 1997–2009 drought, state governments began building desalination plants that purify seawater using reverse osmosis technology.

Ocean Power Technologies Australasia Pty Ltd (OPTA) is an Australian company, a subsidiary of Ocean Power Technologies Inc (OPT) of the United States, a renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves.

Oscillating water columns (OWCs) are a type of Wave Energy Converter (WEC) that harness energy from the oscillation of the seawater inside a chamber or hollow caused by the action of waves. OWCs have shown promise as a renewable energy source with low environmental impact. Because of this, multiple companies have been working to design increasingly efficient OWC models. OWC are devices with a semi-submerged chamber or hollow open to the sea below, keeping a trapped air pocket above a water column. Waves force the column to act like a piston, moving up and down, forcing the air out of the chamber and back into it. This continuous movement force a bidirectional stream of high-velocity air, which is channelled through a Power-Take-Off (PTO). The PTO system converts the airflow into energy. In models that convert airflow to electricity, the PTO system consists of a bidirectional turbine. This means that the turbine always spins the same direction regardless of the direction of airflow, allowing for energy to be continuously generated. Both the collecting chamber and PTO systems will be explained further under "Basic OWC Components."

Australian Renewable Energy Agency

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is an independent agency of the Australian federal government, established in 2012 to manage Australia's renewable energy programs, with the objective of increasing supply and competitiveness of Australian renewable energy sources.