Ocean waves. They give us stunning pictures as they break near shore. Surfers wait to catch ‘the one’ for the best ride. Perhaps a wave has knocked you off your feet by its power.
Imagine we could harness the power of the waves as a renewable energy source?
While still in its infancy, there are exciting developments happening in the area of ocean energy. Helping to advance wave power as a viable commercial option is a project that was launched last October by WEDUSEA. This video explains the idea behind the science.
Taking a different approach is SWEL with their wave line magnet. It floats on the ocean surface to capture the kinetic energy from the swells. Watch their short video to see it in action.
Another type of ocean power is tidal energy which harnesses the change in water levels between low and high tides. Tidal power is further along in development as there are already several large tidal plants online, including in South Korea, France and Canada. In addition, a new plant in Scotland is expected to become the largest in the world when it is fully operational.
When compared to solar and wind, ocean power is consistent and predictable though still very small in energy output. Though similar to the start of solar and wind energy exploration, the potential for the ocean as a renewable energy source is promising.