Wave energy tech could alleviate Pacific water woes

  • Jun 05, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand

A New Zealand firm developing wave energy technology believes its devices could be used to provide fresh water to low-lying Pacific islands.

EHL Group, which provides hydraulic systems to the oil and gas sector, has developed a device which generates electricity from wave power.

Co-owner Peter Jannings said the device could also be used as a desalinator which would use wave energy to pump fresh water ashore.

"So imagine a device sitting offshore continuously providing you with fresh drinking water with no having to fill up the diesel tank all the time or a power bill coming in so it's just pumping that water in."

Mr Jannings said the fresh water would be created by forcing sea water through a special membrane at high pressure.

The device had a huge future particularly in the Pacific where islands are threatened by sea level rise, according to Mr Jannings.

"There's a lot of places looking for drinking water, irrigation for crops, farmers for their livestock. The world needs water."

EHL has applied for $US4 million from New Zealand's Provincial Growth Fund to continue to develop its wave energy device.

Read more about EHL wave power devices from RNZ's Insight programme.

Register for unlimited access to Energy news and press releases