Support Underwater Wave Energy Systems

Target: Save the Waves Coalition

Goal: Convince surfers that wave energy will help save the environment, not hurt it.

Energy use is increasing and alternative energy systems such as wave energy are emerging to combat the environmentally and socially destructive energy systems common in the last century like oil. Some advocates for sustainability are caught in the crosshairs between supporting renewable energy and keeping their lifestyle in tact. Specifically, surfers who want to protect their water from impeding floating wave energy systems.

Generating power from waves, which are infinitely renewable and naturally packed with energy, is an emerging alternative energy source that is popping up on coastlines in Europe and America. These systems can produce enough energy to power up to 20,000 homes. Zero carbon output, low impact on wilderness, and relatively inexpensive systems when economies of scale are reached make wave energy the best alternative energy source for coastal communities. Systems are developed in different forms depending on the needs of the locale. The two main types are floating systems and underwater systems.

Above water wave systems concern surfers because they inhibit their reason to live: surfing. Underwater systems, placed farther out at sea, diminish this concern. Peniche, Portugal, a popular surfer destination, recently implemented an underwater system. Why would a community framed around surfing use a wave energy system that will interfere with its most dedicated visitors? It wouldn’t. Developers are cognizant of the needs of the lives that will be affected by the systems and each is created based around those needs.

Now, in its early stages, is the time to back this emerging energy source. Support underwater wave energy systems on all fronts-from development to implementation-to voice your concerns and have your interests heard.


Dear Save the Waves Coalition:

Surfers supporting the sustainability movement that are weary about wave energy, worry no more. There are wave energy systems that keep your surfing interests in mind and keep your water and air clean unlike the current oil-based energy system.

Underwater wave energy systems are placed farther out at sea. Without disrupting the surf, these systems can power up to 20,000 homes year-round. Wave energy system developers and government officials need to hear your voice in support of underwater wave energy systems.

The zero-carbon output systems are supported by organizations such as Greenpeace because of their low impact on wilderness and relatively low production costs compared to current energy sources. Most recently, Peniche, Portugal implemented underwater wave systems. This popular surfer destination is one example of how developers who know the needs of a community can create systems that meet those needs.

Make your voice heard by wave energy developers like the Electric Power Research Institute and the California Energy Commission and support underwater wave energy systems.


Celeste Arnold

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One Comment

  1. William Toman says:

    Celeste, you are perhaps presenting a false choice: underwater vs ocean surface marine renewable energy generators. One of the more prominent surfing and environmental advocacy groups, Surfrider Foundation, has long supported ocean wave, tidal and offshore wind energy, including those that operate on the ocean surface. Surfrider does insist upon proper siting in accordance with ecosystem based marine spatial planning and a robust stakeholder involvement process which makes sure that existing uses of the ocean such as recreation and fishing are incorporated into the marine renewable energy project’s overall plan and design.

    Surfrider Foundation has been actively involved in the stakeholder and siting processes of several major wave energy projects on the West Coast such as the Reedsport, OR and Humboldt County, CA projects.

    The goal is to replace carbon intensive energy production with low or no-carbon energy technologies. Offshore marine renewables can be an important part of this solution. Ocean surface operating marine renewables have different environmental issues than sea bottom technologies, but both can be developed and utilized in harmony with surfing and other interests.

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