Wave energy harnesses the power of ocean surface waves, which occur every day and travel great distances. Wave energy can be used to generate electricity or to desalinate water, and it’s also suitable for use in remote locations where other renewable energy sources such as wind farms aren’t practical due to limited space. On the other hand, wave energy systems are more expensive than some other types of renewable energy systems and they present some environmental concerns when they’re deployed in sensitive locations like the open ocean.
What Is Wave Energy?
Though wave energy has been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years to power boats and ships, harnessing wave energy for other uses wasn’t possible until recently. Now that technological advancements have enabled us to do so, a new generation of wave energy devices is being developed to supply power for shoreline villages and remote islands—and even as a potential alternative to wind farms and solar panels. But what exactly is wave energy? And how does it work? Let’s take a look at some of its advantages of wave energy as well as disadvantages.
The Wave Machine
To harness wave energy, first you need to make a wave machine. The machine should be able to create and control waves; it should also be large enough so that when several machines are linked together, their combined energy output can power a town. A simple hand-cranked wheel is too small to do much good. Likewise, massive ocean-based power plants and tidal generators are too expensive for a home generator; they require huge infrastructure investments and maintenance costs as well as significant amounts of fuel or other power sources.
Types of Machines
Water waves are harnessed in different ways to produce electricity. Here are some types of machines you can consider -Tidal energy is harvested from ocean currents or from tidal surges, a periodic event that occurs when a large body of water flows into a relatively narrow area, creating strong currents and an upward surge. Tidal turbines capture these movements and convert them into electricity, while tidal barrages use rising tides to generate hydroelectricity.
Drawbacks & Threats
The risks involved with wave energy are similar to those of other renewable energy sources. The open ocean is a harsh environment, and as wave generators are not attached to shore, they may be more susceptible to violent storms than wind turbines. In addition, wave power will likely require additional batteries or other storage devices in order to convert bumpy waves into usable electricity. For example, Pelamis uses large on-board tanks to store energy for later use.
While these systems have proven effective so far, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong—and it would take time for technicians to reach outlying areas if repairs were needed. Finally, while wave power has great potential for some countries (such as Scotland), there are still many places where it would not be feasible due to its cost relative to conventional forms of energy generation.
Effects on Marine Life
An obvious concern with wave energy is its effects on marine life. While traditional wind turbines kill tens of thousands of birds annually, there are few studies into how wave devices might affect sea life. It’s worth noting that wave devices would most likely be in less contact with marine animals than wind turbines; therefore, their impact is more speculative at present. Waves do have an impact on birds and fish, especially when surfers use them to launch off for extreme sports competitions. The force of waves can push these creatures into rocks or coral reefs, causing injury or death. However, it’s not clear whether wave-generated electricity will produce a similar effect.
Suggestions to Solve the Threats
As with any new technology, there are always pros and cons. The following provides a list of advantages and disadvantages related to wave energy. Continue reading to learn more. As with any new technology, there are always pros and cons. The following provides a list of advantages and disadvantages related to wave energy. Continue reading to learn more. As with any new technology, there are always pros and cons. The following provides a list of advantages and disadvantages related to wave energy. Continue reading to learn more. As with any new technology, there are always pros and cons. The following provides a list of advantages and disadvantages related to wave energy.
Where Can I Get Further Information?
Because wave energy is relatively new, you might not be able to find a ton of information online. But in researching your topic, you may have stumbled across a variety of articles, papers and books. If so, they’re all fair game when it comes to crafting your own research roundup. And if you can’t find any relevant materials on your own, consider reaching out to experts in your field for further insight. They might even know about other publications that would be useful for including in your post!