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The Green Life: Wave Hello to Renewable Energy

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November 19, 2008

Wave Hello to Renewable Energy

Wave We've tapped the earth for coal, built turbines to capture wind, used fire to warm our toes, and now, a British engineer, Alvin Smith, is experimenting with harnessing the power of water waves. The Searaser uses water displacement from waves' crests and troughs to produce energy; the point of the device is to create enough pressure to pump water uphill so that it can be stored and released similar to the way dams produce electricity. The prototype, Times Online reported, pumped water 160 feet uphill. A full-sized pump should be able to pump 650 feet and be able to power 470 homes. Used together, the pumps could make a significant difference in supplying residential renewable energy.

Smith hopes the new device will be able to reduce England's carbon footprint in accordance with the country's plans to pass new legislation with a commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 26 percent by 2020. Since England is an island, being able to use the ocean's natural energy is a desirable prospect.  But the ocean's depth, variability of tides, and proximity to shore are all players in this new technology's potential effectiveness.

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