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20 April 2010

China unveils first system in giant 10GW marine energy project

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SDE Energy says that new 1MW wave energy system will come online at the end of the month

China may be fast establishing itself as the global leader in wind and solar energy, but to date it has made little progress in the sphere of marine energy.

Now that looks set to change after Israeli marine renewables firm SDE Energy announced that it will complete construction of a 1MW wave power plant in China by the end of the month.

The plant – which cost around $700,000 to build – is in the city of Dong Ping in Guangzhou province, and is the first installation in a proposed 10GW renewable energy project to install wave energy systems along the coastline.

SDE is in the final stages of negotiations over other projects to be built near Zhanjiang City and in the province of Hainan.

China built its first small-scale wave power plant in 2006, but currently has very little expertise in the nascent technology when compared to its heavy investment in wind and solar.

But according to SDE, wave energy has the potential to supply four times more energy per square metre than wind in China.

The firm has already built eight model plants, all financed by the Israeli government and is now looking to rapidly expand in the Chinese market.

The company's technology consists of a floating buoy in the sea, which is attached to a breakwater. As waves hit the breakwater, they move the buoy up and down driving a series of cylinders containing hydraulic oil and pistons. The pressurised oil is then directed to an electrical generator which produces energy.


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