To establish which energy source is best, we use six key metrics. Specifically, these are energy price, life span, energy generated […]
Nearshore wave devices capture energy contained in waves close to the shoreline.3 Currently, there are a number of different technologies being developed, all aiming to become the future energy source of the seas.4 The most promising appears to be a simple, large vertical flap that swings backwards and forwards within the water.5 This movement drives two hydraulic pistons which force high-pressure water along an underwater pipe where it drives an onshore generator.6 This makes maintaining the device relatively straightforward as the electrical components are located onshore. Currently, nearshore wave devices provide just a minuscule amount of the world’s energy demand,7 however, nearshore wave devices have the potential to produce some 5 PWh of energy each year. That’s around 5% of the world’s current energy demand.8 Nearshore wave devices also take up very little space, and they are exposed to less hostile conditions than if they were located out at sea. They also benefit from waves that generally move in the same direction.9 Despite this, nearshore wave devices are still under development. As such, it is difficult to gauge exactly how much they will cost or how much energy they are likely to generate.
To meet the UK’s energy demand, we would need to wrap the entire country nearly two times over with nearshore wave energy devices.16 This assumes high energy waves for the entire length of the coast.
To be completed.
Wind creates waves, and the more wind, the larger the wave. As such, nearshore wave devices are best located adjacent to large oceans as they produce the highest wind speeds.17
|Value for Money|||||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Reliability|||||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Eco-friendliness|||||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Global Potential|||||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Overall|||||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
To be completed.
Title image taken by Jesus Keller and reproduced under license from Shutterstock.
United States map created by SUPER RADICAL.
Image of Islay LIMPET taken by Peter Church and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0.
World map created by SUPER RADICAL. World map based on all coastlines not covered by ice that benefit from waves 30 kW of energy per metre or higher. Wave power sourced from Mørk et al. – ‘Assessing the Global Wave Energy Potential’ – Page 4. Areas of ice cover sourced from Koistinen, Ville – ‘The Main Biomes in the World’ – commons.wikimedia.org.
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