There are many interesting advances being made that allow us to harness many of the earth’s natural energy sources to produce electricity. Wave power plants, still in relative infancy, use energy from the oscillating motion of waves to generate electrical energy. Although there are many obstacles to overcome with the technology in order to make it a truly effective power source, current estimates state that we could cover around 10% or more of our energy needs purely from wave power.
Wave power is particularly beneficial for coastal regions where waves are strong but is mainly used further into the sea with large scale wave farms which draws energy from the currents and tidal waves. Wave power is not dissimilar to wind power, the more wind we have the better the waves will be in addition to the natural current. Although wave power is not as accessible to the general public it makes for an excellent investment for commercial entities and can provide that all important environmentally friendly benefit to any business making it an important part of an overall eco-conscious business agenda.
The main issues with wave power come from the nature of the motion of waves. Relatively slow and irregular motion is not the best for electricity production and during storms power surges could occur. Technology moves at a rapid pace, however, and as more of the problems are solved, wave power becomes a more and more viable option. So what would be the repercussions of using wave power for some or all of our electricity needs? Let’s look at some benefits.
Wave Power Cuts Carbon Emissions
Wave power generators are inherently ecologically-friendly. Without a need for fossil fuels, and with no harmful chemicals released, wave power stations such as the “Duck” and the “Sea Snake” do not pollute our atmosphere or deplete the earth’s supply of non-renewable fuels. They are also quiet in operation with many turbines emitting less noise than a vacuum cleaner, so there is practically no noise pollution either.
Wave Power is Unobtrusive
One of the great benefits of wave power is the location of the generators. While many power stations take up lots of precious land, obstructing residential areas or causing an impact on the natural landscape, wave power generators reside around the coast line and use space in the ocean – where very little construction has been done to date. This means it leaves more of the land mass for homes or countryside.
There are many other benefits to wave power, but at the moment engineering problems such as dealing with saltwater corrosion issues and stormy weather are holding it back. For now, wind power and solar energy provide a much easier (and often cheaper) solution to help us eliminate our dependence on oil. The best method for the foreseeable future would be to utilize a combination of wind, wave and solar power for our electricity. In the future, wave power may become one of the greatest sources of renewable energy, but that time is not now.