We are becoming more and more reliant on wind power as a renewable energy source, so why not generate energy from water, too? Wave power is the transport of energy by ocean surface waves, and the capture of that energy to do work, such as electricity generation, water desalination, or the pumping of water into reservoirs. This renewable energy form was first established in 1890, however it is still not widely used today. Factors such as cost, design and ocean properties are all limiting the development of wave power as our next big thing.
There are estimates that wave power is three decades behind wind power. That means that although there have been designs for wave power, engineers collectively have not decided on one optimal, sophisticated design. Because of this lack of cohesiveness on the design front, there have been setbacks in funding through investments from large companies. GE is a big investor for wind energy, and without a support system like that behind wave power, it will not happen anytime soon. Once the technology becomes more streamlined, companies will be more willing to invest in this renewable power form. A final disadvantage wave power must overcome is the challenging ocean environment. Corrosive saltwater and harsh, damaging storms are a struggle for any industry or technology.
Although there are several challenges waver power has yet to overcome, there are also some promising signs that the industry is moving in the right direction. Lockheed Martin, an advanced technology company, announced that it is teaming up with Ocean Power Technologies to build the world’s largest wave energy project off the Australian coast. This could be the start of a promising future of renewable wave power!
The information for this blog came from SmartPlanet. You can read more about wave power and the setbacks they are facing in the industry HERE