Kelly Slater: World's 'Best Man-Made Wave' Is Powered 100% by the Sun
Remember when surfing legend Kelly Slater and his team of engineers at the Kelly Slater Wave Company unveiled their awesome man-made wave last month? Well, as it turns out, this "freak of technology" is powered entirely by solar.
@KSWaveco and I have built the first world-class, high-performance, man-made wave! #FreakOfTechnology #KSWaveco https://t.co/VbkJtMsP92— Kelly Slater (@Kelly Slater)1450458904.0
Last week, the pro surfer's wave company announced a partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) new Solar Choice program that allows customers to go 100 percent solar without installing a single solar panel.
Under this program, PG&E customers can purchase half or all of their electric power from solar farms in Northern and Central California. The program was created through Senate Bill No. 43—Electricity: Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program—to expand consumer access to renewable energy resources.
Slater's Lenmoore, California-based wave machine—touted as the “longest, rideable open-barrel man-made wave in the world”—is one of the first to take advantage of the initiative.
“We are committed to encouraging sustainable development at any site using our technology," Noah Grimmett, the general manager of Kelly Slater Wave Company, said in an statement. "As part of this commitment, we are pleased that our first site in Central California is 100 percent powered by solar energy through PG&E’s Solar Choice,"
"This program allows Kelly Slater Wave Company to not only be a pioneer in wave technology, but also in supporting sustainable power initiatives as we act environmentally through an alternative to installing solar panels and fulfill our vision of building the best man-made wave,” Grimmett added.
This isn't the first time Slater has turned his eco-passion into good causes. His love of the ocean translated into his sustainable clothing line, Outerknown, that includes a line of 100 percent recyclable clothing made from reclaimed fishing nets.
The 11-time world surfing champion's man-made wave was a passion project 10 years in the making. He wrote on Instagram:
Now that the world title has been decided and events for the year have finished, I'm excited to show you what I've been sitting on for the past couple of weeks. For nearly ten years, my team and I have been working on creating the first truly world-class, high-performance, human-made waves. This is something I dreamt about as a kid. Through rigorous science and technology, we've been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen. I'm proud to say we took our time to get it right, and the first fully-working prototype of the wave now exists (a huge personal thank you to everyone in our lab and on our team for seeing this through!). I'll be sharing more details in the coming weeks and months but I can't wait any longer to share a film of my experience surfing the wave for the first time, almost two weeks ago. It was an insane day. I'm still a little in disbelief, and trying to process how much fun this wave is, but it certainly feels like this is going to change a lot of perceptions about human-made waves. There's a direct link in my bio to kswaveco.com to view the short film. Can't wait to see other people surf it soon and show what is possible on this thing. #KSWaveCo #FreakOfTechnology #LooksLikeSuperbank but #NotCrowded!
Check out the artificial wave in action in the video below:
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While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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