Our last posting touched on Yakutat's proposed capture of electrical energy from the motion of the ocean.
No more increasingly expensive diesel fuel. How real could this be?
Very real. The energy of the waves coming onto just the southern coast line of Alaska equals 300 times the energy consumed in our entire state!
The energy to run every car, every fishing boat, all the airplanes from super cubs to military jets; heat every single house, office building, bar, church, and jail in the whole state. Three hundred times over.
Better than wind because it is steady, predictable, and always available. Flip the switch and it is on.
It works 24/7 year round. Almost as predictable and measureable as the tides. Clean and free.
Scott Newlun is the general manager of Yakutat Power, Inc. He runs the 2.8 megawatt electric power plant.
Scott is optimistic about securing six million dollars to install Phil Kithil's Atmocean (at-motion) system to make electricity using hydraulic pressure from wave energy to run the power plant generator instead of using increasingly expensive diesel fuel.
His basic premise is that the potential is enormous and the technology is ready to implement.
Atmocean just completed a test conducted with California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo that conclusively proves this system works and works efficiently.
They are ready to deploy in Yakutat.
Newlun is carrying the banner that this place, this time, this plan is the opportunity to set Yakutat up as a real world, real time laboratory.
On a global basis the entire planets' energy requirements can be met by harnessing 2/10ths of one percent of the oceans' wave motion.
And done without disrupting fish and other aquatic life.
Alaska has spent almost uncountable millions of dollars in merely studying conventional forms of hydro power. Damming up free flowing rivers to capture energy from which to generate electricity. We know the great changes to the environment this causes.
This humble blogger fully supports the concept of power plant manager Scott Newlun to offer Yakutat as not just another costly academic study but a real life trial to use clean ocean power.
At the moment Yakutat is paying 53 cents per kilowatt hour compared to Anchorage at about 10 cents.
Conventional wisdom is that cheap oil is over. American economic recovery is currently being hampered largely by higher than expected petroleum price increases. Just today it was reported that Iran blocked Saudi Arabia's proposal to increase OPEC oil production in order to stabilize or decrease oil prices.
Oil prices went up as prospects for the American economy went down. The presidential election will be affected by this and future energy actions over which the president has little actual control.
Yakutat offers a clear small scale, small risk demonstration to break the cycle without breaking the economy or the environment.
And remember those Free Fresh Fish.