Recent developments indicate that wave energy might finally become feasible for mainstream adoption in a few years.
FREMONT, CA: Solar and wind energy have seen unmatched levels of mainstream adoption over the last few years. The increasing inclination towards renewable sources of energy, though, has not been limited to solar and wind. Waves in the oceans have the potential to become a major source of energy, and several companies in the energy sector are busy building the capabilities that can help them tap the resource. Many major companies have built facilities on coastlines to enable the conversion of wave energy into electricity in financially and commercially feasible ways. While some prototypes are still testing their technology, certain groups have been able to succeed in scaling up the models after multiple testing.
A significant obstacle in developing facilities for tapping wave energy includes the corrosive nature of ocean water. The salinity of the oceans makes it particularly challenging for energy companies to construct facilities. To create systems that can survive and perform well in the marine environment, companies have had to put in a lot of effort. One way to mitigate the corrosion is by installing mechanical parts above the sea surface. Different companies have come up with various innovations in the design of turbines to allow efficient generation of electricity from waves.
An article published in IEEE Spectrum mentions several energy sector companies that have been able to achieve varying degrees of success in making wave energy viable. The article talks about a facility located in Hawaii that is ready to be connected to the grid. After a year of performance tests, the project will eventually be completely adopted into the mainstream.
These developments come on the back of extensive research and experiments. The efficient harnessing of wave energy still requires a lot of work. But as investments flow in, energy sector companies are looking forward to installing and testing facilities. It is not difficult to predict that in a few years, wave energy sources might be plugged to the smart grids that are coming up now.
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