Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wave Energy Potential in Africa

Waves are a free and sustainable energy resource created as wind blows over the ocean surface. The greater the distances involved, the higher and longer the waves will be. Energy is stored in this way until it reaches the shallows and beaches of our coasts where it is released, sometimes with destructive effects. 

Key Facts

  • Oceans cover three quarters of the earth's surface and represent a vast natural energy resource in the form of waves.
  • The World Energy Council estimates that 2TW of energy could be harvested from the world's oceans, the equivalent of twice the world's electricity production.
  • In the UK alone it has been estimated that the recoverable wave energy resource exceeds total UK electricity demand
  • As a general rule coastlines with an ocean fetch of greater than 400km are suitable, but even greater resources are available between latitudes 300 and 600 in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
  • If less than 0.1% of the renewable energy within the oceans could be converted into electricity it would satisfy the present world demand for energy more than five times over.

Wave Energy Projects are popular in the UK. Being smaller island countries is easy to see why but let’s look at the potential in Africa. 
Among the African Countries, 38 of them are coastal countries. Below is the map of Africa showing coastal countries of Africa along with table stating their coastlines in kilometers and miles.

The Oelsner Group, the company that built South Africa’s first, and as yet only, commercial wind farm near the West Coast town of Darling, is planning an ambitious 750 megawatt offshore wave energy project in the same area.

Read more here

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