Study: Ocean waves could power Australia

July 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, July 26 (UPI) -- Ocean waves could supply as much as 11 percent of Australia's electricity by 2050, a government research study released Wednesday found.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization study found that Australia's ocean energy resources could power a city the size of Melbourne by 2050.

Ian Cresswell, director CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, said The CSIRO study aimed to understand the potential of the clean and sustainable energy source, Ian Cresswell, director CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, said.

"Assessing the opportunities and challenges from resource to the market is a first for ocean renewable energy in Australia," he said in a CSIRO release.

Areas that could benefit from wave energy technology include Perth, the southern coastline and to a lesser extent the east coast of Australia, the report said, while tidal technology could supply niche areas such as northeast Tasmania and the Kimberley region in Western Australia.

Although wave energy could possibly provide a significant proportion of Australia's electricity needs by 2050, there were many economic, technological, environmental and societal challenges that would determine its place in Australia's future energy mix, the report concluded.

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