Wave energy is essentially stored, concentrated wind energy because the waves are created by the progressive transfer of kinetic energy from the wind as it blows over the surface of the water. The water acts as a carrier for the energy.
Wave energy is present in the movements of water near the surface of the sea. The amount of energy in each wave depends on its height and period: the time between successive peaks. This is why many people see the potential in wave energy as a supplement to offshore wind energy; the waves being more predictable and persistent than wind energy. The annual average power per unit in length of wave crest (e.g. 40 KW/m) is a good first indicator of how much energy is available at a particular site.
Potential for wave energy The western seaboard of Europe, facing the Atlantic, offers a number of potential sites off the coast of Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Norway. The western seaboards of North and South America, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand are also highly energetic. Any area with yearly averages of more than 15kW/m has a great potential for utilization of wave energy.
Read more about the energy content in waves.
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