Sustainable energy systems must by definition be sustainable themselves. Environmental factors are therefore of major concern and some of the Seabased experts have been active in environmental research for more than 15 years. From the beginning, development and design of Seabased's wave power technology have been focused on minimizing the environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle. All materials and components of the Seabased wave power solution are well known and compatible with the environment. The use of chemicals and oils has been minimized and the protection against corrosion and painting of the devices is done with best environmental practice.
Marine growth, including sea weed, barnacles and other invertebrates, is expected to occur, especially on the buoy. There is also strong reason to believe that array installations of submerged wave energy converters will create "safe havens" for marine life, as they become artificial reefs with a closed off surface area. There are some assessed environmental impacts of Seabased's wave power installation:
- The occupied seabed area from the foundations will inevitably become unavailable for bottom dwelling organisms.
- The introduction of a new body is expected to create a new habitat in favour of the hard substrate organisms.
- There will be an operation noise from the transformer in the substation, a buzz with a frequency of 50 Hz. This sound is not likely to be heard above the background noise of the ocean.
Marine ecology and field trial
In 2004 environmental field trials of wave power were started off the west coast of Sweden. These studies are supervised by Uppsala University and done in cooperation with the Department for Ecology and Evolution at Uppsala University. The field trials include basic marine ecological research and specific effect analysis of wave parks. For example, short and long term positive effects from artificial reefs on mussels and other organisms will be measured and anti-fouling technologies such as different surface structures will be evaluated. Read more at: Wave Power Projekt -Lysekil