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Wave Power in India – Wave Energy Plants,Potential and Costs of Wave Energy

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Wave Energy is a niche renewable energy  type which has been seeing slow development for the past many years.The immature nature of the technology means that most of the wave energy projects have been mostly been pilots.The same state of affairs exists in India as well with a few pilot projects being constructed.Though the government of Gujarat is constructing India’s biggest tidal barrage off the coast of the Arabian sea,wave energy projects have been few and far between.Indian Wave Energy traces its history since 1984 when a Oscillating Water Column (OWC) type of device put into tuse at Vizinjham Fisheries Harbor near Trivandrum in Kerala.In 1993 the National Institute of Ocean Technology was established

What is Wave Energy

Wave energy is an irregular and oscillating low-frequency energy source that can be converted to a 60-Hertz frequency and can then be added to the electric utility grid. The energy in waves comes from the movement of the ocean and the changing heights and speed of the swells. Kinetic energy, the energy of motion, in waves is tremendous. An average 4-foot, 10-second wave striking a coast puts out more than 35,000 horsepower per mile of coast.Ocean wave energy technologies rely on the up-and-down motion of waves to generate electricity. The first wave-power patent was for a 1799 proposal by a Parisian named Monsieur Girard and his son to use direct mechanical action to drive pumps, saws, mills, or other heavy machinery. (source Ocean Energy Council)

Wave Energy has seen many wave power devices with differing technologies being used .Most of the research and demonstration projects have taken place in Europe particularly the United Kingdom.

What is Wave Energy Costs

Note Wave Energy has not been really been implemented on a commercial scale.This means its hard to put a benchmark  cost to wave energy like we can put a cost to nuclear energy or biomass energy.Most of the wave power devices have to be custom made which means that the cost is higher.However it has been estimated that improving technology and economies of scale will allow wave generators to produce electricity at a cost comparable to wind-driven turbines, which produce energy at about 4.5 cents kWh.For now, the best wave generator technology in place in the United Kingdom is producing energy at an average projected/assessed cost of 7.5 cents kWh.

Wave Energy Plants and Potential  in India

India is estimated to have a potential of 40-60 GW of Wave Energy around it cost with the current state of technology.The wave energy potential is estimated to be 5-15 MW per metre of coastline.Note there are no big wave energy plants in India except the pilot plant at Vizinjham Fisheries Harbor near Trivandrum in Kerala.

Maharashtra government has built project would generate 15 to 20 kilowatt of electricity located at Borya and Budhal villages in coastal Ratnagiri district. Similar pilot projects exploiting the tidal waves are being undertaken in 15 coastal villages

Sagar Shakthi is a 1 MW OTEC plant built off the Tuticorn coast which utilizes the temperature different wave energy device.

Read more about Wave Energy Companies

Also read about Tidal Power in India



Abhishek Shah

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