Wave Energy in the North Sea.

Initial Coin Offering

The world faces global challenges and is in the middle of a transition to a sustainable energy economy. And that's not going to be easy as on land only a few sites for wind and solar are left available and wind at sea takes a long time and only provides part of the demand. Apart from the need for a substantial additional supply to the energy mix, we also need to identify and qualify it. The power grid has a mix from coal, gas, solar, wind, etc, all over the same cable and a consumer who only wants to buy clean energy doesn't know what he gets. Even though all suppliers pretend to provide 100% green energy, there's no way to check it and he can’t change suppliers to reward green energy production. Green certificates are no guarantee and don't promote green investments, while current carbon trade systems not only don't work but actually favour the fossil industry and the greatest polluters due to, among many other reasons, low carbon pricing. On top of that it's very hard to get a new green energy project financed and even when successful, it takes many long years of high interest payments, inhibiting further investments and expansion. Due to increased sustainable but fluctuating supply, the need for grid stability technology also increases. Not only additional green energy technologies are needed but also new systems to get development and exploitation ffinanced.  

 The Slow Mill is a new Wave Energy Converter to operate in the North Sea at more or less similar cost as wind at sea. It is a patented wave energy technology that, unlike its competitors, also works well in a moderate wave climate like that of the North Sea. Not only the problems of wave energy are addressed but also the problems of small and irregular waves. It generates energy effectively and dampens the waves by tapping into the full orbital wave movement. The blades of the Slow Mill passively follow the wave path, allowing operations in short waves without active resonance systems. The huge forces during storms and the heavy steel needed to withstand those are addressed by a system that lets the higher waves partially flow over the Slow Mill that so avoids heavy loads and thus can be build with lighter materials. It becomes more economical to build and generates more energy as less is wasted to get the Slow Mill in motion. Not only does this open up new, hitherto non viable markets, but also allows existing ocean markets to be economically exploited, adding greatly to the green energy mix.   

 Development of a new technology is a long and costly process, most technologies take 5-10 years to fully develop and Slow Mill is no exception. The company started in 2012 and has since developed its technology to scale models operating in modest sea conditions. The next step is a model that can be connected to an offshore platform to research the best construction, transport, installation and connection procedures. It should also tell something about the expected yields in North Sea conditions. This step will be done in 2018/9 at Texel and is mainly financed by the Waddenfonds and Province NH. Launching customers in this project are RWS, who also participates, municipality of Texel also providing support, NAM (Shell) also providing access to their off-shore platforms and Texel Energy. Research institutes that participate are NLR, NIOZ and Deltares.

The main reason that it takes 7 years to get to a point where the ffirst power delivery can be made, is lack of ffinance. The Dutch Government has never supported development of the Slow Mill or any other wave energy technology for that matter. But due to increased awareness of the magnitude of our climate objectives and the availability of new technologies, this will probably change. However, it won't be fast and even if government helps out, it will be in the form of SDE grants, still leaving initial cost of construction, installation and ffinance to the (rather conservative and expensive) ffinancial markets.

Introduction of crypto currency for Slow Mill development and exploitation should solve most of above challenges. The availability of funds before construction and without interest is a major factor. The tremendous amounts of interest that won't have to be paid, will eventually benefit the consumer through more green energy, faster and cheaper. Another reason for tokenizing wave energy is that the smart contracts allow verification of origin, history, oversight, production, dates, predictions, supply and demand data, trades, etc, all in one system. It also provides the possibility of a fixed energy price and it becomes an incentive for further wave energy investments and growth. The system operates world wide, allowing any investor anywhere to help the Slow Mill development and create demand in every corner on earth. The idea is that the Slow Mill becomes demand driven; if a coastal community doesn't want windmills, they can invest in Slow Mill tokens and so show the need for new wave farms at their location. This system promotes wave energy, its financing and its ecological merits while (partly) replacing systems that failed to grease the energy transition.