They tried wave energy in Hawaii along with another interesting technology that used the temperature difference of sea water brought up from very deep (3000 feet) vs surface water temperatures. They were able to get a pilot plant that generated electricity, but just barely enough to have a little left over after powering the pumps and supplying electricity for the installation. After several years it was decided that neither of these technologies were cost efficient. They still operate their water temperature differential generator and use the cold water that is pumped up for a number of agriculture businesses. Most of the lobsters used for seeding are hatched on the big island of Hawaii! Yes Maine lobsters! They have vineyards that go through 4 fruit cycles per year by faking out their root systems to think there were four winters each year and several other projects that use the cold water. That is a good deal because since it is self sustaining we taxpayers don't have to support it. The wave generator like the wind generators (even more so) were just not cost effective to keep going. If you think of wave heights of 20 feet or so just require such big surface areas to capture the energy. Most dams are several hundred feet in head height to run a turbine, for example.
They also have a large go-thermal plant near Hilo. They used to have tours before the local Hawaiians caused them to shut down public access to the facility. The Hawaiians were protesting the plant because they felt like it was raping their fire goddess Pele. I don't know of many places in the USA where geo-thermal is viable.
Last edited by rbinck; 05-20-2007 at 08:28 PM..