NYT takes note of Oregon's wave energy momentum
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Christina Williams is the editor of Sustainable Business Oregon.
The New York Times, which nurtures a not-so-secret crush on Portland's food scene, took note Monday of another of Oregon's features: Its early leadership in the field of wave energy.
Summed up nicely with quotes from Oregon Wave Energy Trust's Jason Busch, the New York Times story by Kirk Johnson points out that the momentum behind wave energy technology in Oregon is growing fast. From Ocean Power Technology's recently licensed Reedsport project — the first commercial wave energy deployment in the U.S. — to the payoff last month of years of effort at Oregon State University's Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center to get buoys in the water. The Ocean Sentinel test equipment launched two weeks ago is conducting real-world tests on actual buoys.
The story quotes António Sarmento, a professor at Lisbon Technical University and the director of the Wave Energy Centre in Portugal.
"Wave energy is very expensive to develop, and they need to see that there is a potential worldwide," Sarmento told the New York Times. "In that sense, having the first commercial deployment in the U.S. is very, very positive."
The story also covers the topic explored recently by the Portland Business Journal's Andy Giegerich, the effort to map Oregon's coastline and determine ideal spots for wave energy use and identify which areas should be protected from such development.
There are many competing interests in the marine mapping fray — from fishermen to environmental groups to renewable energy advocates — but coming to an agreement to allow Oregon's early groundwork in wave energy to come to fruition is crucial.
It's a fantastic chance for Oregon's coastline to become known for something in addition to world-class scenery and proximity to Portland's food carts: world-leading renewable energy leadership.
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