Wave energy talk happening, action held

(Thanks to Terry for the heads up.)

Steve Hackett speaks tonight, Oct. 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Founders Hall Room 118 on “Economic and Social Considerations for Wave Energy Development in California.”

More on the talk below, but first note, from today’s T-S:

Wave energy contract denied
John Driscoll/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 10/22/2008 01:29:39 AM PDT

State utility regulators last week rejected the first wave energy application they’ve ever considered, denying a contract for a project off the Humboldt County coast.

In its decision last week, the California Public Utilities Commission turned down a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. application to buy power from a small pilot project to test wave buoy technology developed by Canadian company Finavera Renewables. The commission determined that the project isn’t viable, that Finavera’s bid doesn’t compare to others in PG&E’s renewable energy portfolio and that the contract price for the power isn’t reasonable. (Read the rest of the story here.)

Dr. Hackett is Professor of Economics at Humboldt State University.
His teaching and research is currently focused on environmental and natural resource economics, and the economics of energy and climate policy. He will be presenting his contribution to a report on wave
energy conversion for the State of California, sponsored by the Ocean Protection Council and the California Energy Commission. Dr. Hackett has a BS in Agricultural and Business Economics from Montana State University and an MS and PhD in Economics from Texas A&M University.

The wave energy resource is a very large potential source of renewable energy here in North California, but many questions remain about the economic, social, and ecological dimensions of this technology.  Steve’s talk provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about this important, emerging approach for renewable energy generation.

The series is co-organized by the Schatz Energy Research Center and the Environment and Community Graduate Program.

Related story from the New York Times:

For years, technological visionaries have painted a seductive vision of using ocean tides and waves to produce power. They foresee large installations off the coast and in tidal estuaries that could provide as much as 10 percent of the nation’s electricity.

But the technical difficulties of making such systems work are proving formidable. Last year, a wave-power machine sank off the Oregon coast. Blades have broken off experimental tidal turbines in New York’s turbulent East River. Problems with offshore moorings have slowed the deployment of snakelike generating machines in the ocean off Portugal.

Years of such problems have discouraged ocean-power visionaries, but have not stopped them. Lately, spurred by rising costs for electricity and for the coal and other fossil fuels used to produce it, they are making a new push to overcome the barriers blocking this type of renewable energy.

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