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Energy from the Waves by D. Ross (Auth.)

By D. Ross (Auth.)

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He is a rare idealist among trade unionists. Other potential opponents o f almost any source of alternative energy are some of the dedicated environmentalists. They do not see it, or intend it, in that way, of course. Indeed, they champion the idea of seeking alternative sources. But many of them do tend to suggest that, even with BACK TO THE WATER WHEEL 27 extra sources, the end is near. They are the modern equivalent of the religious zealots in pagan Rome who believed that it was sinful to harness the god of water for the service of man.

It means that once a decision has been made about a device, it will be possible to reproduce it cheaply. Unlike a tidal barrage, which is a once-off operation, wave generators can be repeated indefinitely and we could start off with, say, one raft or one string of ducks and then expand production to whatever extent was justified by results. Mr. Glendenning paid considerable attention to what is, for the CEGB, a key factor, the cost. There are others who will argue that this is secondary when we are discussing not how much money we are ready to spend on electricity, but on whether we have any at all.

It is obvious to anyone who has ever done an algebraic equation that armed with any two of these three facts, one can find the third. But it took a long time and extraordinary talent to reach this point, which is going to prove vital to all our futures. I have, deliberately, over-simplified the problem. How, for instance, do the waves in a storm vary so much in height? Mr. Draper's answer gives WHAT IS A WAVE? 19 some indication of the difficulties that he and his colleagues and predecessors have had to grapple with: "Each one of the waves was generated by the same wind over the same water and at the same time, and yet they come in sizes over a range of more than 10 to 1 in height.

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