China is clearly taking a lead on solar and wind energy. However, in the smaller but growing field of marine energy, it has been somewhat invisible. That is changing now.
Israeli marine renewables firm SDE Energy has announced that it will be completing construction of a 1MW marine power plant in China by the end of April. But there is much more in the pipeline.
SDE, with financing from the Israeli government has built eight model marine power plants. Now, it is ready to do more and wants to expand rapidly in the Chinese market.
According to SDE, wave energy could potentially supply four times more energy per square meter than wind energy in China. China is looking interested.
This power plant is the first of a 10GW marine energy project for the coastline of China.
Almost every new marine energy project I see seems to use its own unique method for generating electricity. This one does as well. The system involves a floating buoy in the sea attached to a breakwater. When waves hit the breakwater, the buoy moves up and down and drive a series of cylinders containing hydraulic oil and pistons. The pressurized oil then gets directed to an electrical generator that produces energy.
With a number of heavily populated coastal cities in China, marine energy like this can be used relatively close to where it is generated without needing much investment in transmission infrastructure.
This project is in Dongping Town, Yangjiang City in the Guangdong Province in South China and the total cost for building it is about $700,000.
SDE Marine Power Projects Around the World Soon?
This is SDE’s second Asian deal. It “signed a deal with India’s Om Se Mantra Powergen and the government of the Indian state of Gujarat last year” to build a 5MW marine power plant using the same technology as well.
In 2008, the company also announced that it had signed a deal with an unnamed African country to build 100MW worth of marine power projects within 25 years. And SDE says that it “holds Letters of Intent and orders from state leaders and electric companies in an approximate amount of US $3 billion dollars.”
Image Credit: Thomas Fan via flickr/CC license
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