Wave power is a subset of the renewable energy category, marine energy. Wave power, also known as wave energy, is specifically capturing the kinetic energy created by waves in oceans.
Waves are created by wind blowing over water; the greater the speed and distance of the wind, the greater the wave energy that is created. Wave power is typically harnessed where large and long gusts of wind are constant in the ocean, mostly in the European region of the Atlantic Ocean at this time. It is noted that wave power decreases near coastlines, so wave power is harvested as far from the coast as possible while still having access to the technology capturing the energy.
The European Marine Energy Centre has identified eight common types of technology used to capture and convert the kinetic energy of waves. A ninth category has been created to identify new or obscure technology that is not yet common use in the industry.
In 2019, 1.2 TWh of energy were produced by wave power. This was an increase of 13%; however, it is only a fraction of the potential energy available to harvest. Below is a chart created by IEA tracking the progress of wave energy in KWh (light blue) in comparison to the amount of wave energy that needs to be harvested in the future in order to be aligned with Sustainable Development Scenarios.
Currently, most wave power is generated by Europe. The West Coast of the United States, Japan, South America, and New Zealand also have great potential to harvest wave power. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that 2.64 trillion kilowatt-hours are available for harvesting per year off the coast of the United States alone—this accounts for 64% of the United State's electricity generation in 2019.
Wave power is a growing industry, and many companies are researching or manufacturing wave power products.
Wave power companies & research organizations
U.S. Energy Information Administration
December 2, 2020
Wave devices : EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre
The European Marine Energy Centre, Ltd.
Wave Energy Technology Brief
International Renewable Energy Agency
- Renewable energyRenewable energy, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished.
- Clean technologyA process, product, or service which reduces negative impacts on the environment while offering competitive returns for investors and customers. Clean technologies provide solutions which reduce energy usage, use sustainable resources, or protect the environment.