Increasing interest in Ocean / Stream energy devices
New work to begin on ocean energy devices In response to National Committees’ support for IEC to start work on ocean energy devices and to a proposal made by TC 4 (Hydraulic turbines).
With growing concern over the need to find efficient, clean, renewable forms of energy, the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) asked TC 88 (Wind turbines) to look at the broader aspects of ocean energy devices at its meeting in March 2007 and to make a proposal by April 2007, for consideration by the SMB. The SMB will review TC 88's conclusions taking into account the position of TC 4 (Hydraulic turbines), which will provide input in the area of "stream turbines".
According to experts, some of the benefits of ocean power and technologies, which relies on the motion of waves to generate electricity should include significant energy gains due to the possibility of energy produced around the clock unlike wind power for example which varies depending the time of the day. Improved wave technology could enable wave generators to produce electricity at the same cost as the one generated by wind-driven turbines. Also, with no road infrastructure being necessary and with use of specific materials, production costs should also be lower. In addition to being less noisy and more discrete visually, wave power is also considered to be renewable and environmentally-friendly, particularly offshore.
The US-based Ocean Energy Council says "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…. Wave power structures promise comparatively benign environmental effects. Wave power is renewable, green, pollution-free, and environmentally invisible, if not beneficial, particularly offshore. Its net potential (resource minus "costs") is equal to or better than wind, solar, small hydro or biomass power."