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In the world, over 80% of energy consumption depended on imported fossil fuels in the past decades. Recently, due to the lack of energy re-sources, many countries supports the growth of renewable energy and related industries. Wind and solar energy are mature renewables. Unfor-tunately, actual applications reveal that the capacity factors stayed at a low level (see figure 1). These two renewables are not stable generating systems.
Kuroshio is an ocean current on the west side of Taiwan, and it is part of the north pacific current circulation (see figure 3). It flows along the equator from east to west, and then turns north from Mindanao to Taiwan. Its average veloc-ity is 1.0 m/s with slight variation in different seasons. Stability and consistence are the major advantages of the Kuroshio. But, the main challenges come from extreme weather and system durability. Due to the progressive techniques in offshore wind and MODU, it's believed that harnessing the power from the ocean current is achievable. Hsia-San Shu, an academician of Academia Sinica, estimated that the total energy of Kuroshio is 100GW. Taiwan can harness the power approximately 50GW. Taking a broad view of the world, the energy is unpredictable.
For executing the sea area test of the ocean current system, Wan Chi invests a lot of manpower and resources in many researches such as material corrosion, biofouling, extreme weather, environmental investi-gation, deep sea mooring, life-time of equipment, stability of vehicle, mesoscale eddies, and permanent magnet generators to find the solutions to the problems of the risks of marine environment (see figure 9).
In the second half of 2013, the first ocean current system in the world made and designed by Wan Chi had the first test at Jinzun offshore in Taitung. Be-cause of non-clarification with jurisdiction of the testing sea area and traditional fishing ground, Wan Chi changed the testing method from mooring to vessel towing.
Since the industrial revolution began in the 18th century, fossil fuels in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas have powered the technology and transportation networks that drive society. But continuing to power the world from fossil fuels threatens our en-ergy supply and puts enormous strains on the environment. The world’s demand for energy is projected to double by 2050 in re-sponse to population growth and the industrialization of developing countries.
The supply of fossil fuels is limited. A promising alternative to fossil fuels is hydrogen. Through its reaction with oxygen, hydro-gen releases energy explosively in heat engines or quietly in fuel cells to produce water as its only byproduct. Hydrogen is abundant and generously distributed throughout the world without regard for national boundaries.
Using it to create a hydrogen economy—a future energy system based on hydrogen and electricity is a trend. Therefore, nearshore generation and offshore Hydrogen production is our main strategy.