Thursday, November 1, 2012

What are the main benefits of using wave energy?

Wave energy is renewable energy source that is yet to show its true potential as we have so far seen only few prototype projects that demonstrated how to harness the power of waves. When talking about the potential of wave energy we need to know that in many parts of the world oceans winds are both consistent enough as well as powerful enough to provide continuous big waves, needed to efficiently harness wind energy. 

The areas with the best wave energy potential include western coasts of Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, Australia, and the northwestern coasts of the United States. The useful deep water wave power resources have been estimated to be greater than 2 TW, meaning that ocean waves are very abundant sources of renewable energy.

Obviously, the most important benefit of using wave energy is that waves belong to renewable energy sources. We are talking about the completely free source of energy that doesn't require fuel, and doesn't produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and global warming. There is also no waste disposal issue as this is the case with nuclear and coal fired power plants.

There aren't that many wave projects built across the globe, with the most famous being commercial wave farm based in Portugal, at the Agu├žadoura Wave Park.  Also, once wave farms are built they are not that expensive to operate and maintain.

The fact that we also need to know about ocean waves is that they are very predictable. Ocean waves can be predicted five days in advance, meaning that it is fairly easy to predict and calculate a future output of newly built wave energy projects. 

Harnessing more wave energy instead of solely relying on fossil fuels would not only lead to positive environmental impact in form of less emissions but would also lead to significant economic benefits as it would lead to many new construction jobs. Also, if wave energy would to become important source of energy this would reduce the need for heavy foreign fuel import leading to better future energy security and energy independence.

Of course, wave energy technologies still need to become cost-effective, and this process will no doubt take some time.  Wave energy is currently far from being considered a serious energy option but lot can change in years to come. The global hunger for energy continues to grow, and countries are forced to look for new energy sources to satisfy this growing demand for more power. Wave energy could become one of these new energy sources. The potential is already here, and the rest is on science and technology.


Anonymous,  November 28, 2012 at 10:22 PM  

Thanks, v. helpful!