Why Wave Energy?

Energy extracted from ocean waves has many advantages over other sustainable energy forms:

High Energy Density - Wave energy comes from the wind and in turn, the wind is caused by the uneven heating of the earth by the sun.  When the wind acts on the sea over a distance, waves build up – the longer the distance, the higher the wave height and the more energy is stored in the waves.  So, wave energy is really just high density solar energy and the worlds oceans act as a vast renewable energy storage battery, ready to be tapped by the right technologies.

Resource Potential – The global wave energy resource is vast.  The World Energy Council has estimated that approximately twice the current world electricity production, could be produced from the oceans using wave power.  Australia’s principle scientific government body, the CSIRO, has found that ‘Waves crashing on to Australia's southern shores each year contain enough energy to power the country five times over’.

The following map illustrates the world wave energy resource.  The figures on the map are quoted in kW/m.  To explain this, a wave resource of 20kW/m means that in an average year, each meter of wave width contains 20kW of wave energy.  SurgeDrive® requires a minimum resource of around 15kW/m to be viable and so as you can see from the map below, there are thousands of potential sites around the world where SurgeDrive® can be adopted successfully.

Resource Reliability - Many sustainable energy sources exist but most, such as solar and wind energy are intermittent in nature.  Only wave power approximates a renewable base load resource with up to 90% uptime in favourable areas.  This is due to the inherent reliability and predictability of wave activity.   Any variability in wave activity happens gradually, making grid interfacing manageable.  As SurgeDrive® SurgeDrive® can generate electricity even at very low wave heights, the potential to approximate true renewable base load power becomes a reality.

Minimal Transmission Losses – As nearly 50% of the world's population lives within 60 miles of the coast, most of the electrical grid is located in close proximity to potential wave power sites.  Hence, as SurgeDrive® is a near-shore system, transmission losses are minimised, allowing most of the energy produced to reach the grid without the need for additional infrastructure.

Financial Incentives - There are significant incentives for the development of wave energy sites around the world.  For example, in Europe there are many countries with wave energy specific feed-in tariffs of up to €320/MWhr which provide significant financial incentive and confidence to invest in commercial-scale wave farm developments.  In terms of desalination there is also a significant market building worldwide.  In Australia alone, installed seawater desalination capacity for the major cities is predicted to increase from 45 GL/year in 2006 to over 450 GL/year by 2013.  Due to the high sale price of the final product, this market is set to enjoy a very high revenue potential.