Vic Gov investigates wave energy

New trial will provide data to encourage greater investment in the green energy sector

The Victorian Government plans to run an up-to three year study to determine whether wave generated electricity is a viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels for the State’s energy needs.

The study, being run by Sustainability Victoria, will see the installation, operation and maintenance of wave monitoring devices along the south-west coast of Victoria.

These devices will collect and collate wave energy parameters, such as average wave direction and maximum wave height, and then deliver the data via a secure network to Sustainability Victoria.

According to Sustainability Victoria documents on the new wave monitoring trial, the agency will make the data available to the public following the conclusion of the trial.

“It is intended that the data sets obtained by the wave-monitoring program would be made available to the emerging wave-energy industry, reducing the resource risk for potential wave-energy projects and providing greater confidence to investors in wave-energy projects,”

Sustainability Victoria said electricity generation from wave energy was emerging internationally as a viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels.

With its exposure to Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean, the Victorian coast was attracting interest of the wave energy industry.

“In particular, the south-west coast of Victoria potentially offers the best sites for generation as it is characterised by energetic ocean waves and a continental shelf that deepens quickly seaward,” the documents read.

The trial is scheduled to begin in November this year and be completed by January 2012.

The news follows the announcement that a Melbourne documentary producer and a former IBM staffer are pushing for government support for a prototype renewable power and waste plant that promises to turn rubbish into electricity.

The German-designed concept plant could generate 70 per cent of the electricity yield from an equivalent coal-powered plant by processing upwards of 35,000 tonnes of waste per year.

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