Carnegie Clean Energy has announced a $19.5m commitment from the Western Australian State Labor party to fund a wave project and Centre of Excellence in Albany, if elected.
The project will be the first commercial-scale wave farm in Australia and will demonstrate the potential for WA and Australia to tap into a highly consistent renewable resource; delivering 24/7 clean power into the electrical grid at a time where recognition of the importance of reliable, clean energy in Australia has never been higher.
The project, to be delivered in stages, will involve an initial 1MW unit followed by a 20MW wave farm resulting in more than $100m of local investment.
Successful demonstration of the 20MW farm could in turn lead to a 100MW expansion.
Carnegie’s managing director Dr Michael Ottaviano said it is time for Australia to embrace the potential of wave energy.
“It is well understood our wave resource is the best in the world,” Mr Ottaviano said.
“It is essential we take advantage of this resource and the world-leading capability and technology that exists in companies like Carnegie.
“Wave energy justifiably demands the sort of investment that other power technologies, whether fossil fuel or renewable, have benefited from.
“Unlike other power technologies where Australia has become a ‘technology taker’, wave has the potential to build an industry we can commercialise locally and export globally.”
The consistency of the swell off the southern coastline of Australia means wave energy has a major role to play as our energy mix transitions to one dominated by renewables.
According to Carnegie, Albany has one of the most consistent wave energy resources in the world, experiencing greater than 1m swell 100 per cent of the time.
“There is no doubt that the future of energy, both in Australia and internationally, will involve the combination of renewable energy technologies and storage solutions in large scale renewable hybrid projects and smaller scale microgrids,” Dr Ottaviano said.
“The combination of solar, wind, wave and energy storage offers the solution to the energy trilemma of the decarbonising of our electricity systems in a cost effective way whilst maintaining reliable power supply.”