Are There Ship-Based Marine Energy Projects?

Given that economies of scale ought to apply to ship-based or some kind of floating wind-driven electricity or hydrogen generation, why isn’t there more interest in this as an off shore (and out of sight) solution? It seems to me that a floating or ship based system that works in a given marine environment ought to work in any marine environment. CD Durham, NC

CD, One of the big “sleepers” in renewable energy is the emerging advanced water technologies, and an ever growing set of entrepreneurial firms have leapt into the water (so to speak). Verdant Power (VA) has received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to demonstrate its 25 kW free-flow hydropower units in the East River of New York. Their prototype unit is on a pontoon, and has clearly demonstrated that hydropower, without a dam or diversion, can bring clean energy to urban and rural areas. Ocean Power Technologies of New Jersey, which has contracted with Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy and the State of Hawaii, has developed a Power Buoy that produces between 100-watt hours and 200 kWh of power using ocean waves. Finally, Wavegen of Scotland has a small unit at Limpet that uses a shore-based pneumatic device to drive a 250 kW generator, and they are developing an 18.5 kW breakwater turbine for shallow ocean deployment. Other companies testing off the coast of Florida have even larger prototype configurations of “upside down wind turbines” using ocean currents to drive multi-megawatt installations. While I have yet to see ship-borne configurations, such as you suggest, it is clear we are going to see clean, fish- and people-friendly water generators in the future.
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Scott, founder and president of The Stella Group, Ltd., in Washington, DC, is the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition and serves on the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and The Solar Foundation. The Stella Group, Ltd., a strategic marketing and policy firm for clean distributed energy users and companies using renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage. Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University teaching two unique interdisciplinary courses on sustainable energy, and is an Affiliated Professor of CATIE, the graduate university based in Costa Rica. . On June 19, 2014, Scott Sklar was awarded the prestigious The Charles Greely Abbot Award by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and on April 26, 2014 was awarded the Green Patriot Award by George Mason University in Virginia.

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