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The City of San Francisco has filed an application for a wave power farm that could produce up to 30 megawatts of power. Details, however, are vague to nonexistent. What sort of wave machines would be built? Who would own and maintain them, etc. All that is TBA. Nonetheless it's a start. Wave and tidal power are in the embryonic stages but proponents say the business could take off in the 2010s. Pelamis Wave Power launched the first commercial wave power device off the coast of Portugal last Fall and a couple of companies, such as Ireland's Open Hydro (tidal power), have launched large-scale prototypes. The big challenges? Building something that can survive Neptune's fury. Tidal turbines tested in New York's East River have come up mangled. Finavera Renewables launched a demo wave bobber off the coast of Oregon last year. It sank. Then there is the problem of economics. SF Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to see tidal turbines go into the water as well but the city's Public Utility Commission concluded that the devices would require $750,000 a year in maintenance and would not provide enough power to be cost-effective. And if those two work out, you have to figure out how to deliver power to large urban centers. Still, progress continues and several nations are dumping money into R&D. Oil services companies, who will put these things out there, also are warming up to the waves. It's like the wind industry was in the 80s, everyone tells me. Six years from now, there could be 1 gigawatt of marine power worldwide. Startup Aquamarine says it will build 1 gigawatt of wave and tidal power in the U.K. by 2020 alone.