• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

“It can’t be done.” To begin with, says Seymour, who says that he’s reviewed a hundred or more wave farm proposals over the years, “the wave climate [along the Southern California coast] is modest compared to Northern California and Oregon, where the available wave power peaks out at 1 to 5 megawatts.” Moreover, he states that, given the intrinsic fluctuation of wave activity, wave farms, wherever situated, must use many (relatively) smaller units rather than a single, massive structure. The result, he says, is a “moving forest” of devices, “difficult or even impossible to repair or replace with current technologies.” And then there’s the problem of storms, which would likely create hazards by breaking up and/or dislodging equipment. Seymour quips, “There’s big liability.” For what it’s worth, he also says that folks who currently work in offshore energy production — traditional, blue-collar, “rig” roughnecks — are dismissive of wave farming. “Whenever I talk to the oil and gas guys, they just roll their eyes.”

For better or worse, Farmer Chon isn’t likely to harvest the waters off San Onofre anytime soon. Even if he were able to surmount the technical challenges of building a mega-scale wave farm, he’d still be faced with the prospect of open-ended costs emanating from California-mandated studies. Thwarted in his efforts to lure investors, Kim laments that venture capitalists won’t commit to a project if there’s a real risk that start-up costs will be excessive. When I last spoke with him, he was — even as masked by a layer of Korean circumspection — dejected and stunned. In broken English, he wrote in an email, “We are considering to abandon the project in the United States. Too much problems. We do not intend to hire lawyer to fight back.” (Officials from the California State Lands Commission could not be reached for comment.)

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


Founder Sept. 24, 2010 @ 6:13 p.m.

Dr. Kim also needs to realize the BIG OIL and BIG ELECTRIC do not want any competition and they are very vocal!

This is a classical example of a good idea that might really work well but everyone wants to have the final say before it is even "test" with a small demonstration Plant which should be encouraged by everyone, just to see if the Tech works...

Wave come ashore 24/7/365 and if Dr. Kim's idea pans out it could be a big win for California and the rest of the World.

Dr. Kim will now probably be forced to take his idea abroad and if it turns out, then the USA will have to pay more for the TECH; which will make the shareholders of our Public Utilities very happy.

Dr. Kim, if you are watching this Blog; please consider filing a NASA brief and maybe the Military will let you install a demo plant off Camp P.


Founder Sept. 25, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

Reply #2, Still no "given" name posted from CC as yet? ... Why must you continue with the double standard?

The State and our Local Leaders talk about Clean Energy but in reality they are all dragging their feet as much as possible to protect their Big Public Utilities and Big Oil contributors ...

We should have a State mandated Energy program in place NOW, that allows the immediate testing of all new Energy generation technology that will not temporarily damage our environment MORE than our existing methods of generating energy!

California should become the Clean Energy testbed for the World!

That would increase the number of our R & D businesses, create great jobs and possibly put California in the lead Worldwide as THE place to develop Clean Energy

Imagine if the State partnered with a new Clean Energy Developer early on, the State might easily become a part owner of that new technology and that could easily solve our Budget problems...

Why not lead the way to Clean Energy instead of buy Energy from someone else?


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!