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Ocean Power Technologies, whose power-generating test buoy is pictured here, has been forced to deploy its technology in New Zealand and Australia, due to an ocean power licensing bureaucratic mess here in the U.S.  (Source: Ocean Power Technologies)
Political bickering may hold up plans to deploy and test new wave power technologies to the U.S.

When it comes to alternative energy, President-elect Barack Obama and his team, as in other tech fields, is stating that the time for change is now.  As part of his team's program, which encompasses wind, solar, and examining clean nuclear options, the team is turning its sights to ocean power.

Countries like Britain and Portugal have already jumped on exploiting the vast amount of energy in the ocean.  Powered by the gravitational pull of the moon, the Earth's tides carry a vast amount of energy, almost entirely untapped by current generators.  While the challenge of deploying a device out at sea that can withstand the elements and deliver power to the main land is considerable, many companies have already tackled the problem with innovative designs.

According to New York-based Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization, U.S. ocean power efforts, on the other hand, are stuck in a political mire.  The group met with President-elect Obama and his advisors to help them realize the nature of this problem.

In the U.S., two branches of government have been granted conflicting jurisdiction over the seas:  the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Minerals Management Service, part of the Department of the Interior.  The result has been a squabble over who's in charge of approving projects which has been unable to be resolved thus far.

The Minerals Management Service gained the power to issue licenses to alternative energy projects on the outer continental shelf, 3 to 200 miles off shore, with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  That law, however, failed to eliminate the preexisting licensing authority granted to FERC.  Now both organizations claim they have the right to issue the license.

Thus far, both organizations have been unable to resolve the territory battle.  What has resulted is that funding for U.S. ocean-based alternative energy projects has dried up due to uncertainty about licensing.

The coalition pleading their case before President-elect Obama was composed of officials from local governments, utilities, environmental groups and ocean power companies, including Pennington, N.J.-based Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT).

If something is not done to clean up the mess, these groups say, the U.S. will lose its alternative energy lead to foreign competitors. Ocean Power Technologies is illustrating this as it is currently pulling some of its U.S. projects and has recently announced major projects in Australia and New Zealand.

The problem is among the toughest challenges to face the transition team, led by incoming Energy Secretary Steven Chu, currently a Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology of University of California, Berkeley.

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Question regarding ocean power.
By omgwtf8888 on 12/26/2008 2:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder about long term ramifications regarding harnessing ocean power. I understand the magnetic pull of the moon on the earth causes the tides and resulting waves (wind of course is another factor in waves). But if we add all of these generators that the waves must power that increase the amount of work that must be performed. This must therefore increase the load placed on the pull of the moon. Now the moon is held captive by the earth. Ok so my question is where does this load get transferred to. Does this shorten the moons eventual escape from earth's gravity? Does it increase friction between earth and moon? It just seems as if there is no free lunch when it comes to power generation. Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter?

RE: Question regarding ocean power.
By iSmug on 12/26/2008 2:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, I'm no expert but the moon orbits the earth because of gravity. Tidal movement is just a product of that orbit.

By foolsgambit11 on 12/26/2008 5:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
There's still a law about the conservation of energy. You can't get energy for free. However, in relation to the total amount of energy in the Earth-Moon system, the power taken out by tidal energy harvesting is miniscule. So we don't have too much to worry about. Half credit.

RE: Question regarding ocean power.
By garbageacc3 on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
By andrinoaa on 12/27/2008 3:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
Must admit, I had a big big laugh. Keep it coming!
As for dragging nuclar back-in, it won't get off the ground because it has too much baggage. Man, you guys can't even clean the shit from past adventures, let alone society giving you another go.
Wave power rules!

RE: Question regarding ocean power.
By Gary Right On on 12/27/2008 2:37:27 PM , Rating: 1
Quotes from "EPIC FAIL FOR YOU"

"wow, the americunt edumacation system really failed you"

Besides being an ass you can't spell!

If you knew anything you would also know that the magnitude of the waves changes the mass density of the Earth which affects the resultant gravitational pull between the Earth and the Moon.

3) why would friction increase between earth and moon. THEY AREN"T EVEN FUCKING TOUCHING? do you not understand what friction is? oh what an epic fail the americunt edumcation system is. how can a person be so stupid?

4)the energy captured from the waves result in a decrease in the amplitude of the wave on earth. it uses the wave's energy. its so fucking simple and yet there are so many dumbasses who don't even get it.

is it so hard to get that the wave will get smaller because you're taking energy from it?


fucking retarded americunts

RE: Question regarding ocean power.
By garbageacc3 on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
By Terberculosis on 12/28/2008 11:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
"the moon's gravity affects the waves, not the other fucking way around."

ummm... last time I checked, gravitational force in a non relativistic seting was still given by F=(GMM)/(RR).. Those two Ms in there mean that both objects act on each other.

Unfortunately, that isn't where your argument is broken. The reason the moon is sliding slowly away from the earth has to do with the fact that the moon is slightly leading the tidal bulges as they race aroud the planet. It's been going on for billions of years.

Now, the OP asked if this wave power would change any thing. It will. Adding these wave power machines out in the water changes the dispersion relation of the wave. Not by all that much, but by enough to change things. This means the tidal bulge will travel the teensy eentsyist bit slower. Meaning the moon will receive just the weenciest bit more pull backwards. , and the earth will therefore receive a bit of a pull forwards. The whole process will accelerate the transfer of momentum from the moon to the earth.

Sorry, no free lunch.

By omgwtf8888 on 12/29/2008 10:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
Garbageacc3, you are obviously a very angry, hateful person and I pitty you. Yes i did mistakenly put magnetic pull of the moon in place of gravitational pull. But it is a fact the moon is moving 4cm away from the earth every year. I was opening a dialogue because few thinking people look at the long term effects of a technology. When Henry Ford (yes an american) started producing autos no one thought of the long term problems associated with internal combustion. Now there are 600 million cars in the world and that was inconceivable but the exhaust of 600 million cars is huge. Who would have ever considered that we could fish the seas until they were nearing depletion. A few wave generators are of course not a problem, but commercialize them, and add tens of thousands and things start to change. I don't know why you such a hater, perhaps you don't know too many Americans. The fact that you are posting on this website and that there is an internet is thanks to America and Americans.

By DontUhatePants on 1/7/2009 1:58:53 AM , Rating: 1
Oh man..

i was going to tell you to calm the f*k down but im laughing to much...

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