Over two billion people suffer from the effects of water scarcity and the vast majority of those affected live in coastal areas in developing countries and remote communities. Seawater desalination is an excellent potential solution, but desalination systems require a connection to a strong and reliable electrical grid for their power supply.
Because our target customers typically lack sufficient grid capacity and cannot afford the capital or time required to build and deploy grid-connected systems, Resolute Marine has devised a unique solution to this problem - the world’s first wave-driven desalination system (Wave2O™) that can be deployed quickly, operate completely “off-grid” and supply large quantities of clean fresh water at competitive cost.
Our solution has the unique advantage of filling a large gap in the market between utility-scale and micro-scale fresh water production systems. In our sweet spot, is only one incumbent technology, diesel-powered desalination systems, which can be partially or wholly displaced by Wave2O™ in off-grid communities with access to wave energy.
Wave2O™ harnesses the abundant and consistent energy of ocean waves to directly drive the desalination process (figure 1). Though there is no electricity in the manufacturing process, Wave2O™ can co-generate electricity to fulfill our customers’ need or pump the water where needed.
A “standard” 4,000 m3/day Wave2O™ plant (figure 2) can supply 40,000 people at cost lower than $1.5/m3 before profit and cost of financing and displace 5.8 MWh/year of energy that, otherwise, would have been produced by diesel-electric generators (equivalent CO2 emissions reduction of 500 tons/year).
Wave2O™ development has been financed through approximately $18 million of grants and investments from private investors, U.S. Department of Energy, European Union, AfDB and UNIDO. The key technologies that enable Wave2O™ have been validated in a series of tests which have proven that Wave2O™ can be a reliable and cost-effective water production system with utility in multiple places and in multiple uses around the world. Figure 3 is an example of our ocean deployment where it took us only two hours to deploy our system and generate electricity.
Wave2O™ benefits for customers include: low capital investment; rapid deployment; simple operation & maintenance; readily scalable; minimal environmental impact; and low cost/m3 of water produced.
Cape Verde is our launch market because it suffers from severe water scarcity and is dependent upon diesel-electric desalination systems for 85% of its water supply. The average cost of water in Cape Verde is $4.42/m3 - the highest in Africa and among the highest in the world.
We have secured a commitment from the local power and water utility, Electra, to purchase a full-scale Wave2O™ plant after trials of a pilot plant have been successfully completed. The project is already supported by a $1M African Development Bank (AfDB) SEFA grant awarded in 2017.
Once successful in Cape Verde, we will quickly expand globally (estimated market >$10B/y) and, for that, we have already been actively promoting Wave2O™ in several countries and have obtained preliminary commitments to deploy Wave2O™ plants in South Africa.