A scientific investigation in Cape Verde concluded that the energy extraction of the waves in the archipelago can supply the total energy consumed in the islands of Maio and Brava and 15 to 20% of the one used in the island of Santiago, where the capital is.
The studies is being developed by the researcher of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Cape Verde, Wilson Léger Monteiro, in collaboration with professor António Sarmento, from the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon.
Wilson Léger Monteiro said that the sea waves in Cape Verde are still not used for the production of energy in this country, where electricity is the most expensive in Africa.
Recently published in the Renewable Energy Development Magazine of the Center for Biomass and Renewable Energy of Diponegoro University in Indonesia, the study – which is part of a larger investigation – concluded that the east coast of the island of Maio is one of the places the production of clean electricity.
For this purpose, data from 31 years of waves and sales were analyzed through a European program (Streamlining of Ocean Wave Farm Impact Assessment – SOWFIA) and Simulating Waves Nearshores (SWAN) software.
According to the researcher, taking into account information such as the time series of the wave climate (height, period and direction) and wind in the ocean, it was possible to see the potential of producing energy on the high seas and also near the coast.
“On the high seas, it is around 15.16 kilowatt per meter of the wavefront, this potential decreasing as we approach the coast,” he said.
The researcher says that a deep-sea extraction plant would ensure the consumption of smaller islands, such as Maio and Brava, as well as 15-20% of the island’s most energy-consuming island: Santiago.
For Wilson Léger Monteiro “it makes perfect sense” to harness the strength of the waves for energy production, but since the “correct devices” are chosen, taking into account the wave climate in Cape Verde.
“I have already read some studies that indicate that our Government intends to buy some Pelamis devices to implement wave power plants in Cape Verde“, but this is the least indicated in this context because the best is Wave Dragon and the AquaBuoy.
Although the energetic content of the waves is higher on the high seas, this presupposes “a more complicated technology“, in addition to requiring more difficult interventions and maintenance activities.
For this reason, the research also addressed the possibility of using “more accessible, simple and cheaper” coastal devices.
Wilson Léger Monteiro believes that soon Cape Verde will have one or two offshore power stations.