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Clean Power wave energy

Published on February 27th, 2009 | by Gavin Newsom

26

Wave Energy to Bring Power and Jobs to San Francisco

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February 27th, 2009 by  

wave energy

Editors Note: This is a guest post by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. See his last post for us on EV charging stations on Gas 2.0.

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Today, San Francisco took a meaningful step toward turning the promise of renewable ocean energy into reality. We submitted a preliminary permit application to the federal government to develop a wave power project off our coast that we believe can generate between 10 to 30 megawatts of energy, with potential of up to 100 megawatts. When this project is fully operational, upwards of 100 jobs could be created in San Francisco.

Ocean power is a true “game changer” in the area of renewable energy. When wave and tidal power technologies reach commercial scale, they are expected to be able to provide thousands of megawatts of power to our coastal communities, dramatically green our energy portfolios and create thousands of new American jobs. In San Francisco, we’ve been doing our part to spur these technologies by aggressively advancing tidal and wave power pilot projects.  We are 100% committed to this challenge.

Wave power is not a new concept. In 1887, San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro recognized the power of San Francisco’s waves and built a wave catch-basin to harness the ocean’s power. Over the next century wave power development took a backseat to our dependence on oil, with oil platforms built along our coasts to feed our oil addiction.

However more recently, an explosion of research and development of wave power technologies has occurred. The first commercial units are scheduled to go online in Portugal this year (2 MW from three 750 KW Pelamis units). In the U.S. there are a number of studies, but no commercial operations; San Francisco is hoping to change that.

The proposal submitted by the City to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), grows out of a recent wave power study the City completed, with generous support from the Sidney Frank Foundation and others.

The study confirms that wave power is a promising resource off Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Our project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of generating electric power from waves about eight miles off the west coast of San Francisco. The next step in our project will be to select technologies and undertake environmental studies to ensure minimal impact on marine animals, fishing, shipping and recreational uses.

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There are over 50 different types of wave devices currently under development, ranging from “pitching” devices (Pelamis), “overtopping” devices (Wave Dragon), oscillating water columns (OceanLinx) and “heaving” devices (Aquabuoy).  Some of these devices are based on “biomimicry” principles, which imitate natural designs and processes (bioWave, WaveRoller). Others can even provide both wave power and desalination (CETO).  Wave technology is still new, but the possibilities of clean, green energy produced by the ocean is very real, if we invest in the technology. We will look at all of these and others technologies to find what will work best for us in San Francisco’s waters.

As our leaders in Washington examine ways to ramp up the amount of renewable energy produced in the US over the next three years, in San Francisco we hope to demonstrate that the ocean has the potential to provide power for millions of Americans.

Listen to Mayor Newsom’s radio show online or subscribe to his weekly policy discussions on iTunes. Join Mayor Newsom on Facebook. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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About the Author

was the youngest San Francisco mayor in over a century when he was elected at the age of 41. Newsom, the son of William and Tessa Newsom, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Santa Clara University on a partial baseball scholarship, graduating in 1989 with a B.A. in political science. After only 36 days as mayor, Newsom gained worldwide attention when he granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This bold move set the tone for Newsom’s first term. Under his energetic leadership, the economy grew and jobs were created. The city became a center for biotech and clean tech. He initiated a plan to bring universal health care to all of the city’s uninsured residents. And Newsom aggressively pursued local solutions to global climate change. In 2007, Newsom was re-elected with over 73% of the vote. Since then he has built upon the successes of his first term, launching new environmental initiatives and a comprehensive strategy to transform one of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods into a life sciences, digital media, and clean tech center.



  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    This “goofball politician” grew solar installs 300% last year with a $6,000 solar rebate.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2009/07/22/berkeley-first-san-francisco-next/

    Sorry, russ, but goofball politicians can change the world.

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    This “goofball politician” grew solar installs 300% last year with a $6,000 solar rebate.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2009/07/22/berkeley-first-san-francisco-next/

    Sorry, russ, but goofball politicians can change the world.

  • James Anderson Merritt

    Newsom mentioned neither Ocean Power Technologies and their PowerBuoy, nor WaveGen and their Limpet. OPT is involved in some projects in the Coos Bay area of Oregon, and Limpet was the first wave-power electric generator that was actually hooked into a national grid (Scotland). This happened in 1998 and the facility is still producing power for the UK grid.

    San Francisco wasn’t the only California coastal city to explore wave power back in the 19th century. Santa Cruz welcomed wave-power installations, though only one — the Armstrong wave motor at West Cliff — was ever really completed and put into service. It wasn’t intended for electric power generation, though, and was decommissioned before anyone thought to repurpose it. The 35-foot hole dug for its oscillating water column still exists today.

  • James Anderson Merritt

    Newsom mentioned neither Ocean Power Technologies and their PowerBuoy, nor WaveGen and their Limpet. OPT is involved in some projects in the Coos Bay area of Oregon, and Limpet was the first wave-power electric generator that was actually hooked into a national grid (Scotland). This happened in 1998 and the facility is still producing power for the UK grid.

    San Francisco wasn’t the only California coastal city to explore wave power back in the 19th century. Santa Cruz welcomed wave-power installations, though only one — the Armstrong wave motor at West Cliff — was ever really completed and put into service. It wasn’t intended for electric power generation, though, and was decommissioned before anyone thought to repurpose it. The 35-foot hole dug for its oscillating water column still exists today.

  • http://sfca.com ben – ca sf

    cool post my first time here and i like the way you write ! bookmark it !:)

  • http://sfca.com ben – ca sf

    cool post my first time here and i like the way you write ! bookmark it !:)

  • Pingback: Local Green Jobs Rise as SF Solar and Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs Expand : CleanTechnica

  • http://www.marineitech.com Dom

    Does anyone know exactly what happened with the 2003 HydroVenturi effort?

    I am all for ocean energy. We now officially have buy-in from the leadership, let’s make it happen!…

  • http://www.marineitech.com Dom

    Does anyone know exactly what happened with the 2003 HydroVenturi effort?

    I am all for ocean energy. We now officially have buy-in from the leadership, let’s make it happen!…

  • russ

    This is grandstanding – nothing more.

    Remember this in 5 years when absolutely nothing has happened.

    A tech company needs to take things up not some goofball politician.

  • russ

    This is grandstanding – nothing more.

    Remember this in 5 years when absolutely nothing has happened.

    A tech company needs to take things up not some goofball politician.

  • Pingback: Good & Plenty | EcoSalon - The Green Gathering

  • stephen russell

    Must expand this to ALL HI, PR, USVI & Alaska alone.

    Wow Or:

    CT Del Maine VA NC, GA, SC, NJ, NY.

    Must have worldwide.

  • stephen russell

    Must expand this to ALL HI, PR, USVI & Alaska alone.

    Wow Or:

    CT Del Maine VA NC, GA, SC, NJ, NY.

    Must have worldwide.

  • http://www.thegoodmix.com Janet Pomeroy

    As a San Francisco-based business owner, representing clean tech companies, I am grateful to have California leaders investing in new industries. How we balance budget, economy, technology and social concerns will play out here, in California.

    Thank you for bringing this together, Mr. Newsom AND for being a terrific guest on Real Time :+)

  • http://www.thegoodmix.com Janet Pomeroy

    As a San Francisco-based business owner, representing clean tech companies, I am grateful to have California leaders investing in new industries. How we balance budget, economy, technology and social concerns will play out here, in California.

    Thank you for bringing this together, Mr. Newsom AND for being a terrific guest on Real Time :+)

  • http://www.escape-suspense.com C.A. Miller

    Thank you for your ongoing efforts to develop an ocean-powered energy source for San Francisco. Also, thank you for mentioning Adolph Sutro and giving him some of the credit that he deserves as a pioneer in the development of wave and tidal energy on the West coast.

  • http://www.escape-suspense.com C.A. Miller

    Thank you for your ongoing efforts to develop an ocean-powered energy source for San Francisco. Also, thank you for mentioning Adolph Sutro and giving him some of the credit that he deserves as a pioneer in the development of wave and tidal energy on the West coast.

  • http://codinginparadise.org Brad Neuberg

    This is great! Thanks for the guest blog post Mayor Newsom. I’m excited to live in a city such as San Francisco which is willing to take the lead on such things.

  • http://codinginparadise.org Brad Neuberg

    This is great! Thanks for the guest blog post Mayor Newsom. I’m excited to live in a city such as San Francisco which is willing to take the lead on such things.

  • http://www.speciesalliance.org susan

    This is an exciting direction for SF! I think conservation should always be paired with every new techno-fix though. We need to lessen our consumption no matter where the new energy comes from. I wonder what impact wave energy technology will have on the coastal habitats.

  • http://www.speciesalliance.org susan

    This is an exciting direction for SF! I think conservation should always be paired with every new techno-fix though. We need to lessen our consumption no matter where the new energy comes from. I wonder what impact wave energy technology will have on the coastal habitats.

  • H. T. Schmerdtz

    I’d believe it, if it came from anyone but Gavin Newsom. GS is a publicity machine famous for political grandstanding and in-your-face socialism experiments.

    I’ll wait until someone with creds says it, before I believe it will really happen.

  • H. T. Schmerdtz

    I’d believe it, if it came from anyone but Gavin Newsom. GS is a publicity machine famous for political grandstanding and in-your-face socialism experiments.

    I’ll wait until someone with creds says it, before I believe it will really happen.

  • Uncle B

    Change in how we use electricity is overdue also. SEE:http://theinfochief.com/

    A £2 energy-saving lightbulb that lasts for 60 years has been developed by scientists at Cambridge University. The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today’s best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent.The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs. They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs.

    And for cooking, using microwave over huge expensive resistive current loads saves megawatts. Americans seem to “need’ great hulking stainless steel, electric fridges with ice-makers attached. Post (GRD) great republican depression they may not be able to afford such grandiose uber-luxury, and will have to refrain from excessive power use for the same reasons. Here are some seminal ideas for a reasonable solution to the huge electric load caused by fridges alone. SEE:This fridge and a solar model at http://www.geekologie.com/2008/08/zero_carbon_footprint_the_sola.php

    Einstein Fridge – http://www.gomestic.com/Consumer-Information/Eco-Fridge-That-Uses-Zero-Electricity.285375

    Considerably better insulations are available that the military/industrial complex and oil barons want us to know about, and can provide enormous heating and cooling cost advantages for Americans and considerably reduce consumption of electricity. If you feel nuclear is the way to go, please humor me and watch this:Chernobyl Movie

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5384001427276447319

    By using our resources wisely, and by getting through the mindbending paradigm shifts the GRD and the end of cheap oil is imposing on the American psyche we will survive and be a more chaste, environmentally conscientious and sustainable society, barring extreme adaptation, we will become a drug-infested third world nation of ruins and sad memories, much like the former U.S.S.R. is today, with a few rich despots, no rule of law, a dead middle class and intoxication the cure-all for the day. Wave power is but a part of the solution to the problem. Solar, Wave Tidal,Wind and Geothermal power combined will never furnish the kind of power Americans can waste! We must learn new, high-tech methods of applying our power to our needs too.

  • Uncle B

    Change in how we use electricity is overdue also. SEE:http://theinfochief.com/

    A £2 energy-saving lightbulb that lasts for 60 years has been developed by scientists at Cambridge University. The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today’s best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent.The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs. They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs.

    And for cooking, using microwave over huge expensive resistive current loads saves megawatts. Americans seem to “need’ great hulking stainless steel, electric fridges with ice-makers attached. Post (GRD) great republican depression they may not be able to afford such grandiose uber-luxury, and will have to refrain from excessive power use for the same reasons. Here are some seminal ideas for a reasonable solution to the huge electric load caused by fridges alone. SEE:This fridge and a solar model at http://www.geekologie.com/2008/08/zero_carbon_footprint_the_sola.php

    Einstein Fridge – http://www.gomestic.com/Consumer-Information/Eco-Fridge-That-Uses-Zero-Electricity.285375

    Considerably better insulations are available that the military/industrial complex and oil barons want us to know about, and can provide enormous heating and cooling cost advantages for Americans and considerably reduce consumption of electricity. If you feel nuclear is the way to go, please humor me and watch this:Chernobyl Movie

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5384001427276447319

    By using our resources wisely, and by getting through the mindbending paradigm shifts the GRD and the end of cheap oil is imposing on the American psyche we will survive and be a more chaste, environmentally conscientious and sustainable society, barring extreme adaptation, we will become a drug-infested third world nation of ruins and sad memories, much like the former U.S.S.R. is today, with a few rich despots, no rule of law, a dead middle class and intoxication the cure-all for the day. Wave power is but a part of the solution to the problem. Solar, Wave Tidal,Wind and Geothermal power combined will never furnish the kind of power Americans can waste! We must learn new, high-tech methods of applying our power to our needs too.

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