What is Wave Energy?

Ryan Ono, The Ocean Conservancy Energy Solutions

What is Wave Energy?
Mariana Yazbeck, Unsplash

Waves are created when wind blows over the ocean, moving water molecules at its surface, creating ripples and, eventually, waves. Waves can then drive generators that produce electricity using devices called wave energy converters (WECs).

Engineers around the world have been trying to harness the power of waves into electricity for at least 200 years because of their capacity as a large, predictable and renewable energy source. Wave energy potential exists along every coast although it is greatest in windy areas along the western edges of continents. Just ten percent of the potential wave energy in the continental United States would supply electricity to 13 million homes.

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