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Catching a wave, Euro-style

Most of our fellow American probably think Portugal is a small town near San Diego, but green techies like us should know better. Cause Portugal is where it's happening.

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Most of our fellow American probably think Portugal is a small town near San Diego, but green techies like us should know better. Cause Portugal is where it's happening. We might think bright sun and probably solar, right? Well, besides cork oaks and Port, Portugal has always turned its face to the sea. And in looking for renewable energy it's only natural to catch a few waves.

Off the northern coast of Portugal a large wavefarm is about to be planted. Encouraged by Portugal's socialist government and installed by utility, Eneris, this offshore wavefarm will use large floating "sea snakes" which are large tubes that bob in the waves. That motion is hydraulically captured and turned into electricity. Ironically, they need calm seas in order to launch the tubes, then they need all the waves they can get. Usually that's not a problem in the North Atlantic.

The "sea snakes" are built and engineered in Scotland. They are called "Pelamis," Latin for sea snake. In keeping with their new product the manufacturer has changed its name to Pelamis Wave Power. That's their picture of the sea snakes being towed.