Seaside Stories

Wave Energy

April 6, 2011 | by Shanda Bonn

Another successful SOLV Beach Clean Up has come and gone. Spring is slowly making itself known as intermittent patches of brilliant sunlight break through the clouds. And Earth Month is now upon us. Yep, Earth Month. It’s not official, but as the popularity of the environmental movement has taken hold over the years, events and activities have gone beyond one day or one weekend to events all month long.

Each year since 1970 people around the nation have been observing Earth Day on April 22nd. Earth Day began as a peaceful protest organized by a US Senator upon the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina. The public was highly unaware of the events unfolding and the government was none to keen to let them know. But activists felt it was time for the American people to stand up, take notice and make a difference.

Taking a walk along the beach recently, both soothed and awed by the pounding surf, I thought about the power of the waves, and a recent article I read came to mind. The subject was wave energy, but never having heard of it, I quickly passed it by. But after my time at the beach, I decided to give the article a second look.

Wave energy refers to energy generated from the power of waves near their surface. There are different types of devices designed to convert wave energy, but the ones that seems to be most in use at the moment as researchers continue to investigate this source of renewable energy are buoys. Columbia Power Technologies, an Oregon-based alternative energy company, recently launched a prototype wave energy buoy in the gentle waters of the Puget Sound as it races to be one of the first suppliers of wave-generated energy.

There is one competitor ahead of them who has already launched wave energy buoys off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon, and who hopes to have enough of them in the water by 2012 to power 400 homes!

I am proud of our very “green” state, so often at the forefront of the environmental movement. And I expect we’ll see a few of these buoys off our own shores right here in Seaside sometime in the future (as long as they don’t interfere with the crabbing and fishing!) As a matter of fact, not too long ago, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust held their Ocean Renewable Energy Conference here in Seaside.

Our coastline is among a few places in the world that has the key elements to tap into wave energy – namely frequent and powerful storms several miles off the coast that generate powerful wave energy. I find it amazing that our ocean waters have so much to offer!

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Clam Chowder
Must-Eat Clam Chowders in Seaside

A look at five of the more than 20 clam chowders found in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Life in the Fast Lane

Riding bikes in Seaside in 1897.

Learn More
Garden Circle Evolution

The evolution of Seaside's Turnaround garden circle.

Learn More
How to Treasure Seaside

Learn why one family uncovers more reasons to love Seaside each time they visit. After 40 years of coming to Seaside, there are st...

Learn More
Episode Two: the Lewis & Clark Salt Works

Join us on an audio walking tour of the Lewis & Clark Salt Works in Seaside, Oregon.

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards: A Fond Seasonal Farewell

Can you believe it’s almost Labor Day Weekend? Don’t fret!  We’re still probably in for some dynamic weather throughout Sep...

Learn More
Why This Family Comes Back To Seaside Year After Year

The calm waters of the Necanicum River in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Alex Butterfield There’s something comfortingly classic about ...

Learn More
How to Plan a Romantic Stay in Seaside

Plotting your Valentine’s Day plans? This year swap the heart-shaped box of chocolates and grocery-store flowers for an escape t...

Learn More
Insider Tips: Exploring the Prom Like a Local

It’s difficult to imagine Seaside without the historic Promenade, the famous lamp-lined trail that stretches along the sandy bea...

Learn More
Watching Nature Run its Course in Seaside

Wonderful natural beauty in Seaside,

Learn More
October is a Fickle Friend in Seaside

October weather is unpredictable on Oregon's North Coast

Learn More
Children feed the Harbor Seals at the Seaside Aquarium in Seaside, Oregon.
How to Seaside Inside

Don’t get us wrong: Plenty of beach lovers come to Seaside in the cooler, drizzlier months to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s...

Learn More
Wave Meets Wall

Back in 1925, the waves would encroach on Seaside's Turnaround with a dramartic ferocity

Learn More
Discover Marine Wonders at Low Tide

One of the great delights when visiting Seaside — especially for families — is coming into contact with the otherworldly wonde...

Learn More
Episode Four: the Seaside Museum & Butterfield Cottage

Audio walking tour of the Seaside Museum & Butterfield Cottage

Learn More
Step Into Vintage Charm at the Times Theatre

Moviegoers love a good comeback story, and that’s exactly what they’ll find at the “new” Times Theatre & Public House...

Learn More
Seaside’s History is an Honored Guest in Its Present

There are many local landmarks that celebrate the rich history of Seaside, a town that has been enjoyed as a popular beach getaway...

Learn More
An early morning kayak ride

One kayaker's take on an early morning ride into the Necanicum Estuary.

Learn More