Tuesday 25 November 2014

The cost-revenue conundrum

Here's a wave power conundrum: what must be done to reduce the cost of energy? The resource is free, so 'efficiency' is measured by how well the structure earns its keep. Back in 1980 the physicist Sir Hermann Bondi wrote (In 'Power from Sea Waves', edited by Brian Count) that you pay for the peaks and get paid for the averages. He had also noted that you pay for loads and get paid for power. Thus the intermittent, reciprocal, high force, slow moving, nature of sea waves is an intrinsic challenge. Consideration of the ratio of expenditure to revenue in terms of the loads is a view now acknowledged by many leading engineers.