Cape Verde: the next proving ground for wave powered desalination after Australia?

Archipelago Cape Verde off the northwest coast of Africa will host a wave-driven desalination system to eventually supply more than 48,000 people with drinking water...

Jan 26th, 2016
Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2016 01 Cape Verde Beach

Archipelago Cape Verde off the northwest coast of Africa will host a wave-driven desalination system to eventually supply more than 48,000 people with drinking water.

A grant of US$930,000 has been awarded by the African Development Bank-hosted Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to help develop the project.

Spanning 10 islands, Cape Verde faces water shortages. Although limited groundwater sources have been sufficient to supply a 500,000 population, increased tourist demand has forced the government to look to additional sources.

It was in 2002 when WWi learned desalination capacity across the islands would be increased by eight times (read WWi article).

The latest initiative, called Water2O, will be developed by a local subsidiary of US company, Resolute Marine Energy (RME).

Riding the wave: RME says the wave powered desalination system has a ROI of six years. [Image: RME]

With a capacity of 4,000 m3/day, it is hoped the site selected for the “off-grid” technology will eventually enable the project to be scaled up to 20,000 m3/day.

RME claimed the reverse osmosis based system has a total cost of €20 million, with a six year payback, offering a running cost of €1/m3.

Although a press release from the African Development Bank Group stated the project will be the “world’s first wave-driven desalination system”, a similar project is already underway in Australia.

At the end of October 2013 Australian company Carnegie Wave Power completed a design of a wave-powered desalination pilot plant on Garden Island (read WWi article).

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