TINA LIPTAI, The Standard/Fairfax Digital, September 13, 2008
A report published by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO of Australia) researchers has found an increase in the frequency of storms generating larger waves off Australia’s southern coast over the past 45 years.
One of the report’s authors, Dr Mark Hemer of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric research, said harnessing wave power to generate electricity was one of the potentially positive effects of climate change.
“Areas like Warrnambool that are known for producing large, consistent waves might be a good spot for renewable energy projects,” he said. At least three renewable energy companies in Australia had prototype systems to turn wave energy into electricity which could be operating commercially by 2010, Dr Hemer said.
New South Wales company Oceanlinx is in the process of securing permits to launch a project in Portland to harvest wave energy. Portland is also among a number of sites being considered by Western Australian wave energy firm Carnegie Corporation.
The CSIRO research also identified areas of coast which might be vulnerable to potential problems caused by powerful waves such as coastal flooding, inundation, increased storm activity and underwater habitat disruption.