There are some who believe that these dirty monoliths of the oil age can be rehabilitated – they want to transform them into sources of clean, renewable energy. Engineers believe it is possible to use the vast hull of oil tankers to create floating power stations that can convert the ocean swell into electricity. This is the ambitious plan to create the world’s first “waveships”.
“The current problem with most wave energy projects is that they are fixed in place, close to the shore so they can be connected to the electricity grid,” says Andrew Deaner, managing director of ShipEco Marine, the company behind the waveship project. “This isn’t necessarily where the best waves are. With a ship you are mobile, so you can move to the edge of low-pressure weather systems where the waves are bigger and there is more energy.”