Advantages of Ocean Wave Energy

Of all marine hydrokinetic energy sources, ocean waves are the most abundant source of energy and are also almost omnipresent. While tidal currents are only available in select geographic locations, as are ocean currents, waves are literally everywhere where there is a large body of water. Ocean waves are a redirection of solar energy: As the sun heats the surface of this planet, it causes temperature changes that cause wind. Wind, in turn, interacts with the free water surface and in the process transfers its energy to the waves, first as ripples, then chop, and finally as organized long waves known also as swells. The remarkable result of this process, though, is that the energy density is increased in the process. This higher energy density makes ocean waves a more attractive energy source than either wind or solar, since in principle one should be able to extract the same amount of energy with a smaller device, thus reducing the cost of energy.

In addition, a large portion of the world's population lives close to sea shores. This co-location of wave energy and human energy use reduces necessary investments in transmission lines. As no land real estate is necessary, there is also no conflict between human settlements and wave energy use. Finally, waves are more predictable: they can be forecast more than 48 hours in advance, while wind can be forecast only a few hours in advance, and solar energy may be blocked in as short as minutes.