“Catching some waves” may take on new meaning under future legislation from Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, D-18th District.
According to the New Jersey Assembly Democrats, Karabinchak plans to introduce a measure this session to bolster wave energy as the next, up-and-coming renewable energy source. The goal is to include wave energy in the state’s Energy Master Plan, and to develop a streamlined process for its deployment along the coast, the statement said — making New Jersey one of the first U.S. states or territories to have a commercial wave energy facility in operation.
On March 17, several experts were invited to testify before the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources about wave energy, according to Swedish energy company Eco Wave Power, which released a statement on the testimony. They included:
- Inna Braverman, founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power;
- Patty Cronheim, director at New Jersey League of Conservation Campaigns;
- Muhammad Hajj, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering and director of the Davidson Laboratory at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken;
- Philipp Stratmann, president and CEO of Ocean Power Technologies;
- Marcus Lehmann, founder and CEO of CalWave Power Technologies Inc.
“This session is extremely important for our future,” Karabinchak said in opening remarks. “On a personal side, energy is going to change in the future here. Wind turbines out off of Atlantic City, our solar farms … this is the start for clean energy in New Jersey. However, there are also other sources of energy that we’re going to be speaking about today – which is wave energy.”
According to an Associated Press report, “Wave energy involves capturing the kinetic energy of waves — energy created by motion — as they affect a solid object such as a buoy or floating plate. There are several types of technology used in the industry, and equipment can be used both near shore and in deeper water.”
AP said supporters tout the benefits of wave energy, including the lack of greenhouse gas emissions and the ability to produce power around the clock. The drawbacks, the media outlet reported, involve the technology’s long-term affordability, rapid industrialization of the ocean, and New Jerseyans’ reaction to seeing the equipment in the water.
Hajj — who emphasized he was also a proponent of wind power — testified, “Wind and solar farms take a lot of space … wave power could address this problem,” adding that it could also be used to power remote islands and communities, and can be used during power outages from weather events.
“One meter of wave, even if I take an efficiency of 25%, could power one household for a whole year. That is significant. … New Jersey actually has 10,000 watts per meter right on the shore,” Hajj said.
Braverman added during the session that wave energy can provide 66% of all U.S. energy needs, a statistic from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“New Jersey has been a leader of energy since the times of Thomas Edison,” Braverman continued, adding that Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal to reach 100% clean energy by 2050 can be met by “mixing all renewable energy sources.”