Waiting for wave energy

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The wide range of technologies possible in ocean energy has added to the social pressure to plan for its arrival. Coastal leaders have welcomed the industry for its economic potential, but with caution, recognizing it could have negative consequences for commercial fishermen, shrimpers, charter operators, and recreational sports and fishing if planned poorly.

 

0511_WaveEnergy_05
Model of buoy from Oregon Iron Works
“It’s kind of like a gold rush that’s going on in the ocean right now. Everyone is interested in ocean energy and we wanted to have a say in what was happening,” says Tillamook County Commissioner Mark Labhart, who believes the planning process is critical to giving residents, recreational users and industries like fishing a voice in how ocean energy fits in.

Busch and others, however, argue Oregon has limited time to capitalize on wave-energy development and that the time to hit the water is now.

“The key is to become the locus of ocean wave power in the United States,” he says, and export talent, materials and technology for the next 50 years. “Do we really want to say 'no' to that because of potential impacts about which we’re doing our very darnedest to learn?” The ocean is a big place, he says, and there must be ways for companies to hit the water as planning continues.

One look to Ontario, Canada, where a sudden moratorium on offshore wind power caused companies to flee, and the root of Busch’s fear is laid bare. Like most businesses, ocean power companies flock to opportunity, not to places to wait. Busch worries that a year or more of inaction in Oregon could similarly reverse OWET’s progress.

Theresa Wisner, Oregon community outreach coordinator for Aquamarine Power in Newport, says waiting is a tough sell to investors. “We completely understand the need for spatial planning on the ocean. It will help us considerably in the long run by allowing us to focus in on places that we should go.” But she adds, “We cannot wait indefinitely for that. Aquamarine has put a significant investment here in the state to see this move forward.” She says she is currently negotiating with state officials on solutions.

 



 

More Articles

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS