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Among all the renewable methods to produce energy, wave power is by no means the widest spread or most competitive technology, especially when compared to others like solar and wind. Recent advancements, though, might just change that dynamic.
There are many different ways to generate power from waves whether they are offshore, near shore or deep under water. Numerous patent-protected technologies and techniques are being used by companies to capture maximum energy from the sea. In order to harness the energy of waves created by wind passing over the ocean, a floating object that bobs up and down following an elliptical trajectory may be used. Out at sea, it is possible to use a machine that absorbs energy both at the surface and deep below. Though this technology is continuously advancing, hurdles such as damage caused by the hostile marine environment and the energy-generating efficiency of the devices remain before wave power can become a viable source of energy.
Global attempts to tap into waves’ power depend largely on the geographic potential of different areas such as Great Britain or Australia. Not only are scientists and firms trying to harness this power in the most effective way, they are also working on systems to predict the movement of incoming waves. Scientists from universities in Tel Aviv and Exeter, UK have conceived a way to do so. Researchers were able to forecast the size of the next inbound wave and use the data to enable the generator to configure itself appropriately. This type of predetermination could eventually double the amount of energy generated by the machines.
Wave power is just one of many developing weapons in the renewable energy arsenal. While this growing field of technology should be aggressively pursued, there are many environmental considerations to deal with. Effects on marine habitat, the potential for accidental leaks or spills of toxic substances used in the devices, conflicts with other ocean users, as well as noise and visual impacts must all be carefully weighed while fleshing out these green technologies.
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