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Electricity from the seaIrish companies say they could harvest power from the turbulent waters off Ireland's West Coast in a few years. They want to bring the technology to the U.S. and New Zealand too. News.com's Michael Kanellos traveled to Galway to check out their plans.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 [Inaudible]. >> What am I hammering [assumed spelling] about? [Inaudible] Ireland has high winds and rough seas, so several companies are tinkering with devices that can generate electricity from waves and tides. >> So Ireland has this huge resource, probably [inaudible] to the wave industry, what Saudi Arabia is to oil and gas. >> Galway's Wavebob [assumed spelling] for instance is working on a device that will be capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of power. That's enough for five hundred or more homes. The company has a quarter size scale prototype now in Galway Bay in West Ireland, and wants to put in a full scale prototype in the water in two years. The company is looking at commercial deployment above Ireland and the US. Another company is Ocean Energy, which is also conducting test in Galway. This thing might look relatively small, but it weights twenty-eight tons. It has to be big to survive the waves that will exceed twenty feet. The expectation is that these buoyancies [assumed spelling] will last twenty years or longer in the water. The ocean energy and wavebob buoyancies work differently, but share a similar operating principle. Waves create pressure, and then that pressure is used to turn turbine, which creates electricity. Then there's openhydro [assumed spelling], which helps to generate power from tides with this giant submersible [assumed spelling] turbine. It works like a wind turbine. The Irish government created a thirty-nine million dollar fund this year to kick start the ocean industry. Besides, getting green power from the ocean, the plan is to export the technology, and center the industry around towns that have been hit hard by the down turn in fishing. What Derek Robertson [phonetic], who heads up Wavebob's America's Operation, is trying to say is that Wave Power two to five years away, there are a few problems, but the future looks pretty good. >> I'm Michael Kanellos from Galway, Island for www.news.com. ^M00:01:42 [ Music ]