Canergie Wave Energy: énergie houlomotrice

Canergie Wave Energie is an Australian listed company founded in 1987 developing a wave energy production system. It experienced serious difficulties in 2018-2019 and its activity now seems limited.

Wave energy Canergie Wave Energie: CETO

Wave energy harnesses the energy of ocean waves to generate electricity. Compared with other renewable energies, it has the advantage of being predictable and less intermittent (rq: I’ve read this several times, but it seems dubious), offering a more constant source of energy. What’s more, the immense energy potential of the oceans remains largely untapped, making wave energy a promising alternative for diversifying the energy mix and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. However, it’s still at the research stage, not least because of a number of challenges: production peaks are particularly high and, above all, there’s the problem of sustainability. The energy produced is also destructive, and it’s complicated to resist the sudden movement of water, as well as the corrosion favoured by salt. In this niche, there are Seabased and Hace Wave Energy, among others

The wave energy capture system developed by Carnegie is called CETO, a name inspired by the Greek goddess of the sea. There have been several versions:

  • The latest, CETO 6, is as follows: operation is based on a “point absorber”, which is fully immersed beneath the surface of the water. This device consists of a submerged buoy located a few meters below the ocean surface. The buoy follows the movement of the waves, creating an orbital motion. This motion is then transmitted to a power take-off (PTO) system, which is responsible for converting the mechanical motion into electricity. The electricity generated by the PTO system is then fed into the power grid, where it can be used to power homes and businesses.
  • The previous system, CETO 5, consisted of 11-meter-diameter submerged buoys whose movement activated pumps sending pressurized water to the side via a pipeline. This pressurized water was then used to drive hydroelectric turbines to generate electricity. It could also be used to drive pumps in a reverse osmosis plant for desalination.

The company would also offer software based on their solution, Wave Predictor, and a solution for marine aquaculture farms, Moorpower.

History, progress and financing of Canergie Wave Energie Ltd

Canergie Wave Energie Ltd is an Australian company founded in 1987 by John Davidson and Michael Ottaviano. It went public on January 8, 1999.

It appears to have been delisted in January 2019. It is said to have received a total of $200 million in funding, including grants.

The company had indeed been hit by several events in 2018: a very painful impairment provision for its CETO technology, patented in 2003, ($35M), participating in a total deficit of $64M. The Energy Made Clean company (microgrid solar production), purchased in 2016, was resold at a quarter of its purchase price. The following year, the deficit was $53 million, bringing the company to the brink of collapse. However, it was rescued by an investment of over $5.5 million, and will go public again on October 30, 2019.

The company had sales of A$302,289 and a loss of A$775,406 in 2022. These low figures cast doubt on the company’s sustainability. The company’s latest products, Wave Predictor and Moorpower, suggest that it is trying to get back on track by making itself less dependent on public subsidies.

Experiments

There has been one large-scale experiment, thePerth Wave Energy Project (PWEP). This project mobilized almost $40 million, mainly from public institutions, and was installed off the coast of Perth. A first version was installed in 2011 opposite Fremantle (a town/neighborhood? of Perth) and served simply to be studied and monitored. A second stage began in 2012, set up not far away, opposite Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling. It involved 11-meter diameter buoys, the “CETO5” technology from 2013. The test was completed at the end of 2017.

There was also a test in La Réunion, France, the La Réunion Wave Energy Project from 2011. As with Perth, it was to have several stages: the first, funded to the tune of €5M by the French government, analyzed the data and the subsequent, self-sufficient stages produced electricity. The installation was destroyed in 2014 by Cyclone Bejisa. I haven’t heard anything about the next steps.

The project to test CETO 6 in Albany (Australia) seems to have been aborted in October 2019.


To find out more:

  • A very detailed internship report: https://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/23113/1/Steve_Kenny_31101591_-ENG450_Carnegie_Wave_Internship-_Final_Report.pdf
  • Comprehensive article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-31/carnegie-clean-energy-returns-to-asx/11656216
  • On CETO 6 and the planned experiment: https://arena.gov.au/blog/how-does-wave-energy-work/