Oceans to help power coastal homes

M A I N   N E W S

Oceans to help power coastal homes
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Studies are underway to determine the feasibility of harnessing the movement of ocean water to generate electricity as part a government initiative to exploit renewable sources of energy.

The use of ocean waves, currents and differential water temperature are among the relatively new fields in India that are being looked at for generating power in a bid to ensure energy security and move towards lower carbon emissions.

The move towards harnessing energy from oceans assumes significance in view of India’s long coastline. Renewable sources, except hydroelectricity, account for just 12 per cent of India’s installed power generation.

Interacting with The Tribune, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr Shailesh Nayak today said small power generating units of up to 3MW could be set up to meet the power requirements of small settlements along the coast.

The mechanical energy from the oscillation of the waves can be converted into electrical energy. He was here to deliver the inaugural address at the National Workshop on Renewable Energy Systems in Mountainous Regions, organised at the Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment. Dr Nayak said another technology being explored was using the temperature differential between the surface of the ocean and at a depth of a few hundred metres.

He said oceans absorbed heat and there was a temperature difference of 10-12 degrees between the surface and at the depth of 800 metres.

Though experiments are being conducted in this field, engineering issues and availability of optimum equipment was a challenge.

Ocean currents could also be tapped. The force of water is 800 times stronger than that of air and can be used to power turbines, though the major challenge was to identify suitable locations for getting the required force.

Experiments are also underway to set up off-shore wind farms in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, where the potential for using wind to power turbines is high.

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