The Rise of Marine Renewable Energy

  • 17 Pages
  • Published On: 25-05-2024

Marine renewable energy is a recent development and phenomenon in the renewable energy industry that has been identified as a contributor to the meeting of future energy needs, and that many corporations and nations have since appreciated and even invested vast resources in. there exists quite a number of research studies and resources on the exploitation and use of marine resources for the production of renewable energy. The adverse effects of anthropogenically induced climate change as a result of the greenhouse gases emitted as well as the harmful and environmentally unfriendly impacts largely caused by the traditional or conventional fossil fuels have been the major drivers of the new-found interest in and significant shift to marine renewable energy, as governments and energy corporations initiate various marine renewable energy projects aimed at maximizing the huge potential of marine resources to produce clean and sustainable energy.

The numerous oceanographic and coastal conditions and characteristics of our marine environment provide it with huge untapped energy sources and capabilities to incorporate offshore installations able to harness and produce very high amounts of energy. These developments and opportunities have also facilitated the growing adoption and use of marine renewable energy. It has also been suggested that an appropriate design and management of these projects potentially helps minimize the wider biodiversity and ecological systems associated with the conventional power production methods and technologies, and could potentially also benefit the broader marine system. Some of these conditions that make it possible to harvest energy and produce electricity include: ocean and tidal currents, salinity gradients, submarine geothermal energy, waves, ocean thermal energy and marine biomass. Although some of these are increasingly gaining prominence, for example, waves and tidal currents, renewable marine energy is still several years behind wind energy. This paper focused on the wave and tidal conditions or aspects of renewable marine energy.

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Wave and tidal stream technologies

ForWave reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to further secure futures that are sustainable for the entire world, renewable sources of energy will continue to play key roles. The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report estimated the global consumption of fossil fuel at 78.3% of the total share of consumed energy globally which was followed by renewable energy sources whose percentage of consumption was 19.2. The globe`s ocean resources have immense potential especially when putting into consideration possible combinations between large surfaces of water and the diversity of marine natural resources. Different energy extraction options include ocean and tidal currents, salinity gradients, submarine geothermal energy, waves, ocean thermal energy and marine biomass. The focus of this paper is one the wave and tidal energy extraction options. On the basis of statistic reports from back in 2016, it is estimated that in this year, the total capacity of Europes wind market will grow to 24.6GW.

There are specific environmental conditions that have to be created for wave energy to be generated. Wave power energy is divided into two categories which include; the potential energy component which involves forcing water out against gravity from wave troughs and crests and the second category is the kinetic energy component which involves the use of the oscillating velocity of water. For such power to be harnessed, it is always necessary to design structures that have the capabilities of efficiently capturing and harvesting the energy that the waves transmit (Grecian et al, 2010). Other key factors are that these structures must be having the capabilities of surviving different conditions of marine environments like storms which bring about significant increments of wave power (Ransley, 2017, Walters, Tarbotton and Hiles, 2013). Generators could be used as an effective means of converting wave energy into mechanical energy (Wolgamot and Fitzgerald, 2015). These generators are affixed on shorelines or at the bottom of the sea and different parts of their structures are in constant motion.

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There are specific environmental conditions that have to be created for wave energy to be generated. Wave power energy is divided into two categories which include; the potential energy component which involves forcing water out against gravity from wave troughs and crests and the second category is the kinetic energy component which involves the use of the oscillating velocity of water. For such power to be harnessed, it is always necessary to design structures that have the capabilities of efficiently capturing and harvesting the energy that the waves transmit (Grecian et al, 2010). Other key factors are that these structures must be having the capabilities of surviving different conditions of marine environments like storms which bring about significant increments of wave power (Ransley, 2017, Walters, Tarbotton and Hiles, 2013). Generators could be used as an effective means of converting wave energy into mechanical energy (Wolgamot and Fitzgerald, 2015). These generators are affixed on shorelines or at the bottom of the sea and different parts of their structures are in constant motion.

Sea waves have to be intercepted for energy to be captured from the ocean with structures that have the capabilities of reacting in ways that are appropriate to the forces that are applied to them by the waves. Devices that are mounted on shores, have to be fixed to the seabed and the waves force the water to move in a manner that is useful (Adams et al, 2014). In other types of devices, some of their parts could be fixed or anchored to the seabed while others could be left floating and moving responding to the waves through pulling against the anchor (Weller et al, 2015).

Floating structures that are tethered loosely could also be used. However, these require the establishment of a reference frame with immense stability that facilitates the moving of the active part of the device relative to the main structure (Adams et al, 2014).

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