The power of nature is visible here, and the city of Valencia has decided to make the best use of it: thanks to the wave energy converter (WEC), sea waves can light up the seafront.
Wave power has long been regarded as one of the most promising renewable energy sources due to its size and dependability. Financed by the EU-funded project MAtchUP and the Valencia City Council, in Valencia the WEC will capture energy from waves and turn it into light for the seafront, one of the most energy-intensive parts of the city.
The device, similar to a float, has a simple operation. It is placed in the sea and connected to a hydraulic arm. The force of the waves causes a constant and repetitive movement of elevation and descent of the float which, through a hydraulic system, transfers the energy generated to the electricity generation equipment.
In this system, water is pressurised, not oils like most of this type of device, which avoids any impact on the biodiversity of the coast. It will drastically reduce the emissions generated by public lighting and will cover around 40% of the energy demand in this part of the city.
The Port of Valencia authorised the occupation of 105 m2 (77 m2 of land and 28 m2 of water) of the port’s public domain in the area of the hammerhead of the access channel to the Marina. The small device to be installed will take up a little area in the north of the port without affecting biodiversity, nor navigation.
Our seas and oceans offer great energy resources. Research and technology can help us unlock this potential and open up a world of renewable power. In the future, wave generators may be able to compete competitively with conventional power plants thanks to significant cost reductions, which are only conceivable with a sharp increase in the global application.