Technical challenges inherently associated with ocean waves can be seen as the root cause explaining the relatively slow progress of wave power compared to wind:
- Slow wave motion requiring high machinery force to absorb substantial amounts of power
- Reciprocating motion requiring a mechanism able to absorb energy in multiple directions
- Harsh ocean environment requiring structures to withstand extreme loads in storms
- Highly fluctuating instantaneous power levels of a given sea state.
As a result Wave Energy Converters have so far been large and costly compared to their energy output, which has prevented industrial adoption.