For many decades, scientists were aware regarding the enormous potential of ocean waves to generate power in terms of electricity to fulfill the demand for renewable green energy. However, when compared to other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, the production of energy using ocean waves seems to be somewhat slow to get off the ground due to many different reasons. In fact, the technologies adapted to generate electricity using ocean waves are known to be still in its infancy which makes wide scale adaption of the same rather costly. Thus, this article will discuss the developments that have taken place in relation to harnessing the full potential of ocean wave power and what the future holds for its mass implementation as a reliable and a sustainable source of green energy.
The potential of ocean wave power
It is not difficult to assess the ocean wave power and to realize how effective it can be if used to generate electricity based on recent events. The reason for this statement is that the tsunamis experienced in the recent past, both in Indonesia and Japan, showcased the destructive effects of the ocean waves. It turned buildings into rubble, moved ships and large vehicles like toys and swept miles into land without much of an effort. However, while the normal ocean waves may not possess such destructive powers, the potential of which is never in doubt.
In a more mathematical sense, scientists believe that the potential for ocean waves off the coast of United States to generate electricity in around 252 million megawatt hours a year. In Portugal, the potential for its coastal waves to generate electricity is expected to be around 20% of the total need. At the same time, the most suitable geographies to produce ocean wave energy is thought to be the western seaboard of Europe, the northern coast of the UK and the Pacific coastlines of North and South America, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Thus, the potential of the ocean wave power seems to have spread all around the globe.
Challenges in producing ocean wave power as a green energy
At the moment, the technologies used for harnessing ocean wave power are in its infancy. This means the efficiency and the sustainability of such technologies does not make it economically viable to replace other methods of generating renewable energy. However, scientists are optimistic that in the coming decades, the technologies would improve and the output of such technologies would become more competitive and therefore cost effective in the long run.
Technologies used for harnessing the ocean wave power
Many countries and companies have ventured into harnessing ocean wave power and among the top technologies that are being experimented at the moment, Protean Energy Wave Energy Converter and SurgeDrive in Australia, PowerBuoy in US, Pelamis Wave Energy Converter designed in UK (Scottish) and Wave Dragon in Denmark should be highlighted.
Future of green energy from ocean waves
In recent times, various governments have decided to invest in power generation projects using ocean waves and among them, The Aguçadoura Wave Farm in Portugal is known to be the first of its kind with huge potential. In addition, many other projects are in the pipeline, which should facilitate the efficient generation of renewable energy in the near future.