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Thursday 26 October 2023

Article about the PRIN PNRR 2022 in Il Sole 24 Ore


On October 26, 2023, Il Sole 24 Ore published an article on marine currents and wave energy related to the PRIN PNRR 2022, coordinated by Prof. Michele Mossa.
Wave and tidal energy represents one of the most exciting and promising frontiers in renewable energy and scientific advancement. In a world increasingly burdened by issues associated with traditional energy sources, such as fossil fuel depletion and rising greenhouse gas emissions, research and development in wave and tidal energy offer an innovative and sustainable solution. This form of energy draws inspiration from nature itself, harnessing the perpetual motion of the oceans to generate power.
The potential of ocean waves and currents is immense. Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth's surface, and their constant movement provides an essentially infinite energy source. This means that wave and tidal energy could supply a significant amount of clean and sustainable electricity for our global needs. However, to fully realize this potential, ongoing scientific development is crucial.
One of the primary challenges in wave and tidal energy research is the engineering of reliable and efficient devices to capture and convert marine energy into electricity. Various approaches exist, including underwater turbines, linear generators, oscillating buoy systems, and more. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, but there is still room for significant improvement. Scientists and engineers are striving to optimize the design and deployment of these devices to maximize energy production, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize environmental impact.
Additionally, scientific research is focused on identifying the best locations for wave and tidal energy generation. The world's oceans vary significantly in their hydrological and geographical conditions, making it essential to understand marine currents, waves, and seabed dynamics to pinpoint ideal energy production sites. Advanced predictive models and the use of marine surveying technologies are helping optimize site selection.
Another fundamental aspect of wave and tidal energy research is the environmental impact. It is essential to ensure that marine energy production does not negatively affect marine ecosystems, wildlife, and fishing. Scientists are working to understand how to mitigate potential impacts and develop effective environmental monitoring systems.
Ongoing scientific research also includes the study of the potential for long-term energy infrastructure. The marine environment is notoriously hostile, with corrosive saltwater, violent storms, and risks of collisions with ships and marine life. Therefore, developing resilient and durable materials and technologies is crucial for ensuring the long-term success of these installations.
Integration of wave and tidal energy into existing electrical grids is another key research area. As this energy source is inherently intermittent and variable, advanced energy storage systems and intelligent grid integration solutions are needed. Research in this area aims to ensure that marine energy can reliably contribute to electricity supply.
Wave and tidal energy can be particularly advantageous in coastal and island regions with high dependence on fossil fuel imports. This energy source can diversify energy supply, increase energy security, and reduce environmental impact.
A fundamental challenge for the future is the reduction of wave and tidal energy production costs. Currently, this technology is often expensive compared to traditional energy sources, but scientific and technological progress can help make it more competitive. Optimizing production processes, materials innovation, and scaling up operations are all paths to cost reduction.
In summary, wave and tidal energy is a continuously evolving research field with enormous potential. Science and engineering are working together to address technical, environmental, and economic challenges associated with this renewable energy form. With further developments, it could become a critical component of our future energy network, significantly contributing to the fight against climate change and the creation of a sustainable future.

Stampa Stampa

Michele Mossa
Professor of Hydraulics at the
Polytechnic University of Bari
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry
Via E. Orabona, 4 - 70125 Bari - ITALY


Coastal Engineering Laboratory
Area Universitaria di Valenzano
Strada Provinciale
Valenzano - Casamassima, Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, BARI- ITALY