Surfbreak Protection Society
Surfbreak Protection Society
News Archive
Wave energy converter a real threat
17 May 10

There are more threats to the surf breaks of Taranaki than are immediately obvious. Just because they appear in the media once they do not go away. Developers are continually beavering away on their plans to exploit the marine environment of Taranaki.

undergo a five-year trial off the coast of Waitara. A non-notifiable consent is likely to be issued for the construction and siting of A POINT ABSORBER WAVE ENERGY CONVERTER. These devices are deemed the most suitable for New Zealand conditions. One of these devices has been trialled in Pegasus Bay on and off since 2006.
The developer of this project has made initial contact with the Allen Pidwell as a representative of NPSRC , Surfing Taranki and Surfbreak Protection, which is heartening as it shows that developers are becoming aware that surfers to have a claim to protect the natural resource that provides their sport and life-style.

This is the type of wave farm that will be trialled off Waitara over the next five years.
It is interesting to note that at the moment such a device is extracts about 5% of the energy from the swell and developers will work to increase that to about 35% – about the same energy efficiency as a gas-fired power station.

But there is a catch and none of the reports prepared for Governments anywhere in the world that I have been able to access report on this feature. The amount of energy extracted from the swell is that which is used to generate electricity -it does not include the huge amount removed by a huge device ( and ultimately a huge array of them) hanging down in the sea like a huge kelp bed.

Thos of us who have been to California and seen the effects the kelp beds there have on the swell will understand. When these wave farms are fully developed they will cover hundreds of hectares and effectively stop any swell from reaching the Surfbreak.

If you care about protecting our surfbreaks from these developments go to the ELECTRICITY CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY AUTHORITIES WEB SITE and read the reports there. They are very good. The authors have undertaken significant research and put a very sound case to the Government for the development of electricity generation from the marine environment. The surfing areas most at risk are; TARANKI, NORTHLAND WEST COAST, WAIRARAPA, SOUTH ISLAND SOUTH EAST COAST AND SOUTH ISLAND WEST COAST.

Take the time to read these reports. This one will not go away.
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