... 50 Norwegians 156 physicist 92 power take-off 100-1 pressure on government 144 professor 92 reflected waves 95 scientist 92 simplicity 104 snatch load ...
Author: David Ross
Foreword by Dr D. A. Elliott, Open University Over the last decade or so, renewable energy technology has moved from the margins to the mainstream. Whereas once it was the dream of utopians, now we have British Trade and Industry Ministers talking of L2.5 billion market for the UK renewable energy industry and the government's Renewable EnergyAdvisory Group estimating that the renewable sources could contribute perhaps 20 per cent of the UK's electricity requirement by the year 2025. Although some work had been done earlier, the UK entered the renewable energy field seriously in 1974, following the first oil crisis. A total of some L230 million has been spent on a range of research and development projects. Wave power was initially seen as one of the front runners and some L15million was spent on it before the "deep sea" wave programme was wound up in 1982. The decision to abandon deep sea wave power was the focus for much debate in which the author, David Ross, took a vigorous part. His book, Energy From the Waves, first published in 1979, provided unique coverage forthe general reader, as well as for students of renewable energy, of the technology involved in capturing the energy of the waves and of the historical and political development of this novel technology. He has since followed the twists and turns of the debate over wave power and, while hisinvestigative journalism and campaigning style have not endeared him to the energy establishment, his energetic exploration of the policy issues has provided us with a fascinating account of decision-making processes. The policy issues are now, if anything, more urgent than ever. With nuclear power widely seen as an unviable option, the development of renewable energy technologies, along with conservation techniques, are one way in which we can respond to the threat of global warming and other environmentalproblems. Clearly, some of his analysis is contentious. But then the topic is controversial, with interpretations of facts often still being in dispute. For example, in terms of the economics, all we have are estimates of likely costs. often based on purely conceptual systems, framed in contemporaryshort-term financial accounting contexts which usually ignore wider environmental considerations. Given this situation, it would probably be impossible to produce a totally independent and impartial review of the issues, or a "final conclusion" on wave power. The jury is still out. Accepting this limitation, although he is clearly a partisan for wave energy, Ross provides us with a unique insight into the issues of the technological decision-making process, an insight which may help us decide on the issues ourselves. Over the last decade or so, renewable energy technology hasmoved from the margins to the mainstream. By the year 2025 capturing the energy of waves could provide more than 20 per cent of the UK's electricity needs. And this clean, renewable power source would cause no environmental damage and no use of finite fossil fuel resources. This book explains how it could work, how experimental stations do work, and the politics and vested interests that have hindered and continue to hinder it.