Wave energy worldwide appears to building momentum, as SDE Energy just announced that it has received approval from the Ministry of Energy in Kenya to establish a 100 megawatt (MW) wave power plant off the Kenyan coastline. For a country facing both severe pollution and electrical shortages, this appears to be an ideal solution; energy generated by the facility will produce energy at a cost of $0.02 per kilowatt (KW), while the energy will be bought by the local electric company, KPLC, with a tariff of $0.08 per KW.
SDE appears to be no stranger to such projects in Kenya, claiming to have established eight sea wave power plants at Jaffa Port to date. The ninth sea wave power plant that recently began operation has proven itself a new and improved version of the previous models, according to SDE, producing 60 kilowatt hours (kWh) with just one buoy. The plant is fully automatic, and only 10% of the whole system is actually in the water, a factor which is said to minimize the risk to the system in the cases of extreme weather.
How do costs break down? SDE Energy puts the price of constructing one of their 1MW wave power plants at around $650,000, as compared to $1,500,000 for coal, $900,000 for gas, $3,000,000 for solar energy, and $1,500,000 for wind power. It also notes that it offers the local utility electricity generated in this way at a rate of 2 cents per kW, as compared to 3 cents for coal, 3.5 cents for gas, 12 cents for solar energy, and 3.6 cents for wind power.