Why is wave power exciting?

Wave power represents a significant opportunity for clean renewable energy supply. With a total resource of 32.000 TWh annually [1], out of which 2000-4000TWh [2] is considered economically exploitable, 10-20% of the global electricity consumption could be provided by wave power. This is of a similar magnitude as the global installed base of hydropower.

Wave power also offers more predictable energy output, with power levels that can be forecasted 1-2 days in advance and a different timing of intermittency compared to wind and solar, which is beneficial for grid balancing. As solar energy is converted to wind that is converted into ocean waves the average power flow is concentrated. The power density along the European Atlantic coast with 30-40 kW/m wave front has an average power density of 2000-3000 W/m2, which is at least 10 times higher than typical solar density (100-300W/m2) and 5 times higher than wind (500W/m2) [3] [4] offering the physical conditions for effective harvesting using relatively small devices.

The unique features of ocean wave energy make it a very strong alternative for the generation of 100% clean, renewable energy with no carbon dioxide emissions.

Read more: The wave power challenge->

[1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2012. Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Cambridge University Press.
[2] The Carbon Trust, 2006. Future Marine Energy.
[3] http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/12/wind-fights-solar/
[4] Falnes, J., 2007. A review of Wave Energy Extraction. Marine Structures 20,185–201